CRAMER: Provides for the Common Defense, Supports Our Troops
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported the widely bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, which passed the House of Representatives by a 344 to 81 vote.
NDAA for fiscal year 2018 increases defense spending 10 percent from last year’s level – a total of $696.1 billion. The added funding will further equip, supply, and train our troops while also caring for them and their families and setting national security policy in a dangerous world. The defense bill also acknowledges North Dakota’s prominent role in defending our nation’s freedoms with continued support of the Air Force Bases in Minot and Grand Forks, as well as our state’s Air and Army National Guard.
“After a half-decade of cuts, Republicans are putting America back on track by confronting the readiness crisis in our military branches,” said Cramer. Our troops are the most valuable assets our country has, and we’re going to provide them the resources they need to get the job done. And, while increasing defense spending by ten percent, we’re also auditing the Pentagon for the first time in what I believe is a long-overdue effort to cut the fat from the DOD to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and transparently.”
READINESS: The legislation authorizes increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard, and increases funding for maintenance for all Services, for increased training opportunities, and for sustaining, restoring, and modernizing facilities. It also enhances our defense by modernizing our nuclear weapons stockpile, missile defense, and military vehicles; and supporting defensive and offensive cyberspace strategy. Furthermore, It prohibits transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, and from transferring the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay back to Cuba.
RESOURCES: NDAA fully funds the 2.4 percent pay raise our troops are entitled to under law. It also extends special pay and bonuses for service members. It blocks the misguided attempt to close military medical facilities upon which our deployed troops and their families rely. Provides commonsense resources to help families manage challenges like relocations, including reimbursements for spouse’s obtaining licensing/certification in another state.
REFORM: NDAA instructs for the first-ever audit of the Pentagon, adds oversight to service contacts to prevent wasteful spending, and streamlines bureaucracy through transparent purchasing.
NORTH DAKOTA HIGHLIGHTS:
- Authorizes the full budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s nuclear weapons activities, including vital efforts to modernize the nuclear weapons stockpile. The bill authorizes $21 billion for nuclear weapon programs – including modernization of the infrastructure that supports the nuclear triad.
- Includes $27 million for an indoor firing range at Minot Air Force Base
- Fully funds MQ-9 Reaper procurement at $122.5 million, which is flown by the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo.
- Fully funds RQ-4 Global Hawk modifications at $32 million, which are flown out of the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
- Authorizes a 2.4 percent pay raise for our troops – a plus for the thousands of soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors who serve in our state.
- Directs the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence to establish an intelligence fusion center to enhance the protection of nuclear command and control.
- Does not allow for a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
- Commissions the DOD and National Guard to study the effectiveness of uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for National Guard operations
For more information, view the a full summary of the bill here.