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Upton: ‘Today we voted to keep our promise to our military’

National Defense Authorization Act advanced by the U.S. House with bipartisan support

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Washington, July 14, 2017 | Lynn Turner/Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761/269-385-0039) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives by voting to advance H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, by a bipartisan 344 to 81 vote. For 56 years, the NDAA has been the primary way in which Congress executes its Article I constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense.”

“Today we voted to keep our promise to our military. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act focuses on three important objectives: improving military readiness, reforming the Pentagon, and supporting our troops,” said Upton. “The 2018 NDAA also includes a 2.4 percent pay raise – the largest in eight years – for our troops and continues the annual restrictions against transferring detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. We should continue working in a bipartisan manner to get this critical piece of legislation to the president’s desk. Our men and women in uniform, and their families, deserve nothing less.”

H.R. 2810 supports funds for a nearly $30 billion increase above the president’s budget request for essential military readiness. Due to budget cuts in previous years, our service members have been forced to do more with less. Troops are taking longer tours of duty, equipment is being used past its lifespan, and important improvements are being postponed. As a result, our military’s preparedness to respond to threats – or its readiness – is dangerously slipping. This increased funding level is informed by years of in-depth Congressional oversight and is crucial at a time when threats from around the globe take increasingly aggressive positions against the United States.

The bill also contains important reforms to the way the Pentagon does business, ensuring taxpayer money is being spent wisely. While repairing and rebuilding our military is key to defending our country, so is modernizing the way the Pentagon does business. H.R. 2810 makes it clear that the Pentagon must undergo major bureaucratic overhauls and fundamental reforms to the way they buy goods and services. This type of Pentagon transparency and accountability is ground-breaking and necessary.

In addition, H.R. 2810 funds a 2.4 percent pay raise that our troops are entitled to under law while also blocking the president’s ability to reduce troop pay. It also prohibits the reduction of inpatient care for military medical treatment facilities located outside the United States – blocking the misguided attempts to close military medical facilities that our deployed troops, and their families, rely on. The bill also continues federal restrictions of moving detainees to mainland United States from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. 

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