House Passes Bill Blocking Cuts to the LCS Program
Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) today praised House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes construction for three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) in Fiscal Year 2017.
The NDAA rejects efforts by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter to cut the LCS program and includes an amendment by Congressman Byrne to block a downselect to a single shipyard. The Independence variant of the LCS is built in Southwest Alabama by Austal USA.
Byrne said: “This vote was for all the men and women at the Austal shipyard who work so hard to build a first-class ship to support our nation’s sailors. The Navy has made clear they need these ships in order to fulfill their mission, and I am so pleased to see the full House of Representatives agree to reject any cuts to the LCS program. This was a bipartisan vote, and I remain excited about the future of the LCS program.”
The NDAA is a comprehensive bill that sets policy and authorizes spending for the entire U.S. military. The bill authorizes spending at a level of $574 billion for national defense base requirements and an additional $36 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations.
Byrne said: “It seems like every day a new report comes out about the dire situation our military is in. That’s why it is so important this year’s NDAA makes critical investments in boosting military readiness to ensure we can respond to the wide range of threats facing our country. The bill also makes long-needed reforms to ensure efficiency and accountability at the Pentagon.”
Among the many important provisions and reforms, the NDAA would:
- Authorize a 2.1% pay raise for our troops;
- Halt the drawdown of military end strength;
- Invest in maintenance programs to ensure military resources are working and safe;
- Block the Obama Administration from transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the United States;
- Reform military health care programs to ensure high quality and increase access to care;
- Update the acquisition process to encourage greater innovation and adaptability in future military programs;
- Provide for increased accountability by limiting the size and scope of the National Security Council;
- Elevate U.S. Cyber Command to its own unified command in order to better respond to cybersecurity threats;
- Maintain accountability in the Syrian train and equip program;
- Help counter Russian aggression by increasing funding to the European Reassurance Initiative; and
- Support Israel by authorizing funding for important air defense systems.
The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 277 to 147. Click here for more information on the NDAA.