By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, June 30, 2017, US Senator Luther Strange (R) voted to advance the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which received unanimous committee support in allocating $632 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
Senator Strange said in a statement, “The NDAA passed this week reflects the priorities of military leadership and meets the stated unfunded requirements of each service,” said Strange. “President Trump and his administration have made it clear that rebuilding our military is a critical national priority, and this bill empowers the Department of Defense to support evolving missions and address growing threats. As the committee continues its work on behalf of our nation’s men and women in uniform, I remain committed to supporting Alabama’s important contributions to the finest fighting forces in the world.”
Senator Strange is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). The committee considered 277 amendments, including key Alabama funding priorities.
Three amendments were offered by Strange, including provisions to make surplus M1911 pistols available for use by the Civilian Marksmanship Program in Anniston, to require the Navy to produce a report on its future need for MH-60R and HH-60H helicopters, and to instruct the Department of Energy to engage in research, development and deployment of micro-reactor technologies, which would allow for efficient power delivery to remote locations.
Senator Strange also supported several other Alabama-specific authorizations, including lethality and hull survivability upgrades for the Stryker Combat Vehicle that will be conducted at the Anniston Army Depot, $38 million designated for military construction projects at Ft. Rucker, continued support of Army helicopter aviation programs at Ft. Rucker, and ongoing funding for the development of ground-based midcourse defense capabilities at the Redstone Arsenal.
Luther Strange was appointed by former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to the vacancy in the Senate created when Sen. Jeff Sessions became US Attorney General.
Strange is running for the Republican nomination in the August 15 Republican Special Primary. The winner of the Republican Primary will face the Democratic nominee in a December 12 Special General Election.
Ten Republicans are running for the US Senate race as Republicans. According to the Alabama Republican Party, the following individuals submitted qualifying paperwork to run for the US Senate seat: James Paul Beretta, Joseph F. Breault, Randy Brinson, Mo Brooks, Dom Gentile, Mary Maxwell, Roy Moore, Bryan Peeples, Trip Pittman, and Luther Strange.
Karen Haiden Jackson was disqualified by the Alabama Republican Party because she had run as an independent in a judicial race last year.
Eight candidates qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party to run in the US Senate Special Primary Election. Qualified candidates are Will Boyd, Vann Caldwell, Jason Fisher, Michael Hansen, Doug Jones, Robert Kennedy, Jr., Brian McGee, and Charles Nana.