Committee Passes Defense Bill Important to Alabama
Early Thursday morning, the House Armed Services Committee approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, a bill which Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) says brings good news for Alabama.
The NDAA sets policy and authorizes funding for the entire United States military, and it must be passed each year. This year’s NDAA passed out of the House Armed Services Committee by a strong bipartisan vote of 60 to 1.
Congressman Byrne said: “From Redstone Arsenal to the Anniston Army Depot to Fort Rucker to Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base to the Austal shipyard in Mobile, Alabama plays a critical role in supporting our nation’s military. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act boosts Alabama’s military installations and ensures that our service members have the resources they need to keep us safe.
“For us in Southwest Alabama, the bill authorizes the construction of three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which keeps the program on track as the Navy continues the transition to the up-gunned Frigate. This is big news to the over 4,000 men and women who work at the Austal shipyard, but it is even better news as we work toward our goal of building a highly capable 355-ship Navy fleet.
“I expect the bill to come before the full House in the coming weeks. Given the importance of rebuilding and strengthening our military, I am hopeful the NDAA will receive another strong bipartisan vote.”
This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is focused on reforming and rebuilding the military. Among the many important provisions, the bill:
- Sets topline defense spending at $717 billion for Fiscal Year 2019;
- Authorizes construction of 13 new Navy ships, including three Littoral Combat Ships;
- Calls for a 2.6% pay raise for our troops, the largest increase in nine years;
- Ensures improvements in military training and safety programs in light of recent accidents due to our current readiness crisis;
- Allows for the purchase of new equipment to replace broken and outdated items that have languished for years;
- Authorizes purchase of additional Stryker AI combat vehicles, Army Armored Brigade Combat Team vehicles, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, C-130 Super Hercules Aircraft, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, and advanced missiles.
- Invests in America’s nuclear deterrent and align it with modern threats;
- Provides adequate funding for the Missile Defense Agency;
- Holds Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran accountable for their aggressive and dangerous actions; and
- Ensures our military men and women are equipped and prepared to fight terrorism around the globe.
Click here to learn more about the FY19 NDAA.