By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
When a major bill is passed the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislators add and subtract wording from the original bill as it goes through committees and is debated on the House floor. Senators do similar things to their version of the bill in the U.S. Senate. The result is two (often significantly) different bills. To resolve the differences, the House and the Senate each appoint designees to a conference committee.
U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery was appointed on Wednesday to the conference committee to negotiate the final agreement on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Rep. Roby said, “I’m honored to be selected as a conferee on this important legislation. Providing for the common defense is one of the fundamental duties of the Congress spelled out in the Constitution. I look forward to working with conferees from both chambers to ensure we report out a bill that properly aligns our military resources with our defense priorities, while keeping faith with our men and women in uniform.”
The NDAA authorizes military programs and sets policy for the Department of Defense and must be passed each year. Congresswoman Roby will join with the other designees on the conference committee to produce a compromise version of the bill that is acceptable to both Houses of the Congress.
Rep. Roby is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Her Second Congressional District includes two important military installations: Fort Rucker and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base. Having Rep. Roby on the conference committee gives Alabama a voice on a committee that could have a direct effect on important jobs in the state of Alabama.
Jeff Coleman, is on the executive board of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of Friends of Fort Rucker. Coleman said, “Congressman Roby has been a voice for Fort Rucker and Wiregrass military interests since she was first elected, and her increased influence has helped that voice grow stronger over the last two years,” Coleman said. “It is encouraging to know our Congressman commands the level of trust and respect from her colleagues and the House Leadership it takes to be selected as a conferee on such an important piece of legislation.”
Rep. Roby recently joined Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama and Rep. Mike Rogers (R) from Saks in efforts to try to keep C-130 Hercules transport aircraft based in Montgomery at Maxwell Gunter AFB.
The NDAA authorizes $554.2 billion for defense bases and $88.5 billion for overseas operations.