Today, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement after voting to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011.
"The National Defense Authorization Act creates a smart defense budget that focuses on the right priorities to protect America and support our troops.
"This bill provides the resources we need to defeat terrorists. This budget will help America fight terrorists by investing in Special Operations forces, supporting the use of Predator drones, and expanding our ability to assist foreign militaries build their own capacity to fight terrorists.
"The National Defense Authorization Act increases our efforts to secure loose nuclear materials and keep the worst weapons out of the worst hands. It supports the work of the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia which will result in a reasonable reduction in nuclear weapons while allowing the U.S. to maintain a safe and secure nuclear deterrent.
"This budget maintains our commitment to supporting our servicemembers and their families by increasing military pay by 1.9%, expanding health care coverage to include adult dependent children up to age 26, and increasing the family separation allowance for troops who are deployed away from their families.
"I sponsored an amendment to this legislation that will force the Department of Defense to consider the illegal subsidies that Airbus has received as they move forward in the tanker competition. Northwest aerospace workers are the best in the world and Boeing is ready, willing and able to build an outstanding tanker for our military. It is time to end to the delays and conduct a fair, open and transparent tanker competition so we can get much-needed tankers to our men and women in uniform and create good-paying jobs in Washington state.