Byrne: Defense Bill a Victory for Alabama, National Security
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after voting for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report which passed the House 377-48.
Congressman Byrne said: “This bipartisan bill is a huge win for our troops, national security, and Alabama. I applaud the conferees for removing House Democrats’ numerous unrelated “partisan wish list” add-ons that prevented me from supporting the previously-passed House NDAA. Providing for the common defense is one of our most important duties in Congress, and it was time the Democrats stopped playing political games with our troops.
“This NDAA enables us to rebuild military readiness, allows for continued counter drug enforcement at our border, preserves President Trump’s transgender troop ban, accelerates programs to counter Chinese and Russian aggression, and authorizes important bipartisan nuclear modernization programs.
“Importantly, this bill gives our troops a 3.1 percent pay raise, the largest increase in a decade, and repeals the widow’s tax, a goal I’ve worked towards for many years. It also establishes the Space Force, a priority of President Trump’s that is expected to bring high-paying jobs to Alabama. And I’m particularly pleased this bill maintains long-standing prohibitions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. since my efforts to preserve this ban were blocked earlier in the year.
“With this bill’s passage, we can continue President Trump’s mission to rebuild our military might and arm our fighting men and women with the resources they need to combat threats around the globe.”
The NDAA contains many important benefits to Alabama:
- Authorizes one Guided Missile Frigate FFG(X) contract which Austal will compete to build in Mobile, including language secured by Byrne reiterating and instructing that cost is a critical factor in the competition
- Supports the conversion of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships into medical ships at Austal’s Mobile shipbuilding facility
- Authorizes $12 million for a new Army National Guard Readiness Center in Foley
- Authorizes $249.2 million for Stryker Combat Vehicle Lethality Upgrades to take place in Anniston
- Supports missile defense programs in Huntsville and Troy as well as cyber and hypersonic weapons advancements
- Authorizes $34 million for the Enlisted Transient Training Barracks at Fort McClellan Army National Guard Training Center in Anniston
- Authorizes $151.6 million for the Army’s Future Vertical Lift Helicopter Modernization Program and the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft that Bell Helicopter will compete to build in Ozark
With House passage, the NDAA conference report now awaits a final Senate vote before going to the President’s desk to be signed into law.