Pelosi Applauds Overwhelming Passage of Defense Authorization Bill
Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on H.R. 1585, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which passed in the House today by a vote of 397 to 27 :
"In passing the defense authorization bill today, the House acted to make our military stronger and the American people safer. The bill provides our troops with more than the Bush Administration requested, including a pay raise more in keeping with what they deserve, while rejecting increases in medical care costs the Administration had sought.
"As a result of the war in Iraq, the readiness of our ground forces has declined to an appalling level, threatening the ability of our military to respond effectively if called upon. The bill makes addressing the readiness crisis faced by our active duty forces, as well as by the National Guard and Reserve, the priority it needs to be.
"I salute Armed Service Committee Chairman Ike Skelton and the members of his committee for an excellent bill that will contribute immeasurably to the nation's defense. Given the overwhelming vote today by Members of both parties, the President should reconsider his opposition to several key provisions, such as the military pay raise, that most benefit the troops."