Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement tonight after the House voted 384 to 23 to approve the Defense Authorization Act, which will reverse declining trends in military readiness, ensure our troops have the proper equipment the need and provide our service members with better health care, better pay, and the benefits they have earned:
"The Defense Authorization Act meets our number one obligation as a Congressto defend the American peopleby restoring our military's readiness, protecting our troops in harm's way, supporting our military families, and refocusing on the real war against terrorism. As we return home to observe Memorial Day with our constituents, we can be proud that we have passed this essential legislation for the men and women who proudly wear our nation's uniform, which also includes a 3.9 percent pay raise for all service members.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, who has once again worked across party lines to meet the needs of our military and keep American safe. The New Direction Congress is working to ensure that our military is fully prepared for threats and challenges worldwide and that our troops get the benefits that they have earned and deserve."