Abraham supports passage of defense spending authorization bill
WASHINGTON - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, voted in favor of agreeing to the conference committee report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets approved spending levels for the military and national defense. The measure passed the House on Tuesday.
The legislation provides for combined spending on national defense of nearly $700 billion and is consistent with President Trump’s request that Congress provide the military with resources that will allow it to modernize and improve readiness capabilities.
Additionally, the NDAA provides for a 2.4 percent pay raise for troops, the largest pay raise for our men and women in uniform in the past eight years. It also increases troop levels across the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force, welcomed news for Louisiana’s military bases that have faced potential troop drawdowns in the recent past.
The NDAA permanently preserves special survivor indemnity allowance payments for surviving military spouses.
“This is an NDAA that sets the foundation for rebuilding our military and giving our men and women in uniform the tools they need to accomplish their missions and keep America safe,” said Dr. Abraham, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. “This is a strong bill that will protect troop levels at Fort Polk and Barksdale, give military service members a much-deserved pay raise and provide financial stability for surviving spouses.”
Numbers of Note:
- Authorizes $626 billion in base spending, $66 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations warfighting account, and $8 billion for other defense activities – all of which account for a $74.2 billion increase over the current funding level.
- Includes $15 billion for missile defense programs. These programs are used by American forces who fight alongside our allies in Israel, South Korea and Europe to deter threats from places such as Iran, North Korea and Russia.
- Provides for $109 million for modernizing the B-52 bombers, which are headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base.
- Bars Base realignment and Closure (BRAC), which has jeopardized troop levels at Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center in recent years.
- Supports our allies on the front lines by providing $1.3 billion to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting against ISIS, $4.9 billion for Afghan security forces, and $350 million for Ukraine.
- Keeps Guantanamo Bay open and bars the transfer of terrorists to US soil.