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House passes National Defense Authorization Act

American Capital Building in Washington DC at Dusk.

Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR5515, the House and Senate Conference Report for the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA authorizes America’s national security programs.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) voted in favor of passage of the NDAA.

“America faces our most complex and grave set of threats since World War II,” Representative Brooks said. “As a result of the 2011 sequestration cuts that I opposed and voted against, our military has endured years of cuts that hamstrung America’s ability to face these global threats and challenges. No longer. Sequestration is in the rear-view mirror. The FY19 NDAA passed today rebuilds our military and gives it the weapons and supplies needed to protect and secure America’s global interests. Broadly speaking, the FY19 NDAA authorizes a base defense budget of $639 billion, including $18 billion for Army equipment replacement, $41 billion for aircraft, $36 billion for naval fleet improvements, $23 billion for military facilities and infrastructure, and a 2.6 percent pay raise for military personnel.”

“Great news: The House just overwhelmingly passed the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), taking another critical step to rebuild our military and support our men and women in uniform,” Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said on social media. “I really appreciate the leadership of my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee Republicans and HASC Chairman Mac Thornberry as we’ve worked to get this done on behalf of our Armed Forces.”

One of the issue dividing the House and Senate versions of the bill was the number of littoral combat ships (LCS) that the NDAA would authorize. That issue has been resolved in the conference committee version of the NDAA and the LCS was the winner.

“HUGE NEWS! The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes the authorization for three additional Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which are built by Austal USA in Mobile,” Congressman Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, said. “As you may remember, the House version of the NDAA authorized three LCS, but the Senate bill only authorized the construction of one ship. Thankfully, as a member of the Conference Committee between the House and the Senate, I was able to work with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry to ensure authorization for three LCS. Again, this is a significant development for Austal and the close to 4,000 men and women who work at the shipyard. The House is expected to pass the final version of the NDAA later this week.”

“The NDAA is a huge victory for Redstone Arsenal and the Tennessee Valley’s defense community,” Rep. Brooks said. “The FY 2019 NDAA authorizes $192 million for an improved turbine engine for Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, $140 million to Missile Defense Agency that advances hypersonic and directed energy weapons research, development, and transition efforts, $490 million for Standard Missile procurement and another $181 million for improvements, and $254 million for space programs and technology. The list of wins for the Tennessee Valley defense community could go on and on as the Tennessee Valley continues to lead America’s research, development, procurement, and production for America’s defense arsenal.”

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“This is a major step forward in rebuilding our military,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said in a statement. “This bill invests in our service members, through both a pay raise for our troops and funding for updated equipment and training. It provides resources to ensure our armed forces are equipped to face the emerging challenges of modern warfare, includes strategic priorities for supporting our allies, and helps defend against hostility from countries like Russia and China. And it provides continued support for our military in the fight against global terrorism.”

“America’s military must be so strong that no nation will ever mistakenly believe they can win a war with us,” Brooks said. “That is the essence of ‘peace through strength.’ The FY 2019 makes America stronger and, as a result, the world more peaceful.”

The NDAA passed the House 359 to 54. The NDAA authorizes America’s national security programs.

The Senate still has to approve the conference committee version of the bill for it to go to President Donald J. Trump’s (R) desk.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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