WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) joined his colleagues in passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that improves military readiness, increases pay for service members, and makes important reforms at the Pentagon. The NDAA also increases funding for the purchase of essential military aircrafts, vehicles, and weaponry. The annual defense authorization bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 344 to 81.
“The vote today is a strong statement that the rebuilding of our nation’s military has begun,” said Latta. “After six years of military drawdowns under the previous administration, this year’s NDAA authorizes increasing the size of our military, ensuring that our troops have the resources they need to keep our nation safe, and addressing the gathering threats around the globe. In addition, the bill provides funding to purchase badly needed aircrafts, armored vehicles, ships, and munitions. At the same time, important reforms are made to operations at the Pentagon to eliminate waste and make sure that taxpayer money is being used for its designed purpose. The world needs U.S. leadership now more than ever, and this legislation puts us on the path to ensuring our armed services have the tools they need to be successful.”
For service members, the NDAA fully funds a 2.4% pay raise for active duty military members and blocks attempts to close military medical facilities for deployed troops. The bill also provides resources that help families during times of relocation. One provision includes reimbursements for spouse’s to obtain occupational licensing in a new state.
This year’s National Defense Authorization Act also improves readiness by authorizing an increase in the size of the Army, Navy, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. It provides $127 billion for procurement and includes a statement of policy that the Navy should include no fewer than 355 ships. The bill also includes provisions to modernize our nuclear stockpile.
The legislation includes strategic policy to address threats abroad, including continuing the prohibition on closing Guantanamo Bay and the prevention of transferring prisoners from there. Assistance is also provided to Ukraine to support their deterrence efforts against Russia. In light of recent successes fighting ISIS, the bill provides funding to train and equip Iraqi forces including Kurdish and tribal militias.
A portion of the bill also addresses reforms at the Pentagon including additional oversight for service contracts and improving how the Department of Defense purchases off-the-shelf goods by using online commercial websites.