By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) calling on voters to help pressure President Barack H. Obama and Senate Democrats to support the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, HR1735.
Rep. Roby said in a statement “I have good news and bad news. The good news is the House and Senate have now passed the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the annual bill that authorizes funding and policy for the entire military. It’s a good bill that does right by our troops and contains important provisions to support the missions at Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker.”
Congresswoman Roby said that the NDAA authorizes: -$187 million for the procurement of 28 new Lakota helicopters for the Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker and $47 million for elementary school improvements on post at Fort Rucker.
At Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the NDAA authorizes: “Critical funding for C-130 aircraft improvements, including $75 million for Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) installation and $33.2 million for C-130 engine upgrades; a $10 million budget increase for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which has a facility at Gunter; $7.6 million to replace the squadron operations facility at Dannelly Field; $33 million for elementary and middle school renovations at Maxwell Air Force Base; and $75 million in cyber operations procurement for the Commander of United States Cyber Command (CYBERCOM). Rep. Roby said, “As you may know, Maxwell’s Air University recently launched the Air Force Cyber College which is focused on instruction in this emerging front of global warfare.”
Roby said that The bill also contains important authorizations for military personnel, including a 1.3 percent pay raise for troops, $281 million in funding to ensure commissaries stay open; and empowering commanders to permit service members to carry firearms at installations, reserve centers, and recruiting centers.
Rep. Roby warned, “Now the bad news: President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA. That would set us back tremendously, and that’s why I’m working to build a coalition to put pressure on the president to sign this bill. If he follows through on this threat, it will be up to us to fight to overturn it, and our work will be cut out for us.”
The conservative Congresswoman said, “I’m ready for the fight, and I need your help. It’s time to get on the phone, send an email and recruit your friends and family to call on the President and Senate Democrats to support this NDAA. We cannot allow this ideologically-driven administration stand in the way of this critical bill to support the military.”
The bill, HR1735, passed the House by a vote of 270 to 156 and passed the Senate by a vote of 70 to 27.
Outgoing Speaker of the House House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “After months of threatening to block pay and benefits for our troops, I’m glad more than a dozen Senate Democrats did the right thing and joined with Republicans to keep our military strong, and America safe. Now President Obama needs to do the same.”
Speaker Boehner said, “A veto would mean that a president, for the first time in US history, is holding troop pay and benefits ransom to try and extract more money for a domestic political agenda. And it would leave America exposed as terrorists plot attacks against our homeland, Russia continues its acts of aggression, and Iran gains billions in sanctions relief from a deal that fails to shut off its path to a nuclear weapon. This is no time for our commander-in-chief to abandon America’s men and women in uniform. President Obama needs to stop putting domestic politics ahead of our troops and their vital missions.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.