By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, March 8, 2017, The US House of Representatives passed of HR1301, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The Legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 371 to 48.
US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) wrote, “The House passed the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations bill. As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m really pleased with this bill. It’s a big win for the military on both a national and local level.”
US Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said, “Today the House passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act and sent a clear message of commitment to our military members. This legislation protects critical readiness programs for our troops and provides a total base defense funding level of $516.1 billion for FY17, which is a $2 billion increase over the FY16 enacted base defense funding level.”
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) said: “Ensuring our military men and women have the funding and resources to do their job is a fundamental responsibility of Congress. By passing the Defense Appropriations Act today, the House is further reaffirming our strong, bipartisan commitment to supporting the US military.
Congressman Brooks continued, “Importantly, HR1301 includes a 2.1 percent pay raise for our service men and women, reverses the Obama Administration’s drawdown of troops, and increases funding for Israeli Cooperative Programs by $455 million. In total, $600.7 million is provided for the Israeli Cooperative Programs, including $332 million for equipment procurement and $269 million for research and development. An additional $43 million is included for Israeli anti-tunneling efforts.”
Congressman Byrne added, “Working with my House and Senate colleagues, I am proud we were able to secure funding for the construction of three more Littoral Combat Ships. These ships are a key component of the Navy’s fleet, and the additional funding is vital to the future of the Austal shipyard in Mobile.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “I voiced my support for the bill on the House floor, and I urged my colleagues to join me. As I’ve said before, one of Congress’ most important responsibilities as laid out by the Constitution is to provide for the common defense. In the last administration, Congress experienced nearly constant tension over military funding policy. I’m pleased that the Trump Administration has made it clear that properly funding our military is a priority.”
Rep. Brooks continued, “I’m very pleased key priorities for the Redstone Arsenal community have been increased – notably high energy laser research, cybersecurity research for a variety of Army platforms and integration of systems, and the Army’s important continued investment in Future Vertical Lift.”
Rep. Roby said, “This defense funding bill includes critical support for the work being done at Fort Rucker, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, and the 187th Fighter Wing at Dannelly Field.”
Rep. Brooks concluded, “The highest priority of the federal government is America’s national security. Hence, the number one responsibility of Congress is to give our warfighters the resources and support needed to carry out their missions. I’m proud the House today delivered a strong signal of support through passage of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act that adequately funds America’s national security.”
Rep. Byrne concluded, “I call on the Senate to quickly pass this funding bill and send it to President Trump’s desk for his signature.”
President Donald J. Trump has made increasing outlays for defense part of his “Make America Great Again” agenda and is one part of his agenda that has bipartisan support as Wednesday’s vote for higher defense spending demonstrated.