Congressman Dave Loebsack issued the following statement upon passage of the National Defense Authorization Act. Loebsack's committee, the House Armed Services Committee, marked up the bill last week.
"Our National Guard and Reserve members must have the equipment, training, and compensation that they deserve. As we wrote the bill, I focused heavily on ensuring that our troops have the equipment and resources they need for today's wars while also preparing for the threats of tomorrow.
"I also made sure that we are doing everything possible to take care of our troops and their families. Our servicemembers deserve the absolute best from us and it is critical that we give them all of the tools and resources they need.
"This bill includes provisions that I wrote that will ensure that the National Guard has the support it needs when it deploys overseas by adding 920 civilian positions to the National Guard. These positions will create good-paying jobs across our nation, and help ensure that when Guard Members are deployed, they have the support they need to complete their missions. It also includes a provision I added to ensure that our servicemembers who are suffering from PTSD receive the care and support they and their families need."
"Additionally, there is funding for the National Guard to modernize facilities, including $2.179 million for the Iowa National Guard Iowa City Readiness Center, a $700 million increase above the President's budget request for equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, and a pay raise of 1.9% for all servicemembers.
"The bill also includes critical counterterrorism funding to help protect our country and combat extremist ideologies and terrorist groups. This bill included $1.6 billion for the Chemical Biological Defense Program and $26.5 million to support strategic communication programs to undermine the spread of extremist ideologies by terrorist groups. To help combat the spread of rhetoric that threatens our national security and encourages acts of terrorism, we included funds to undercut the use of the Internet by violent extremist groups such as al Qaeda and the Taliban."