Tonight, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) reintroduced the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011. The new bill is the product of weeks of bipartisan negotiations between the House and the Senate and contains critical provisions for our troops.
"Our brave men and women in uniform, many of whom are out on the battlefield right now, are counting on us to pass a defense authorization bill. There are hundreds of provisions in this bill that they need and are depending on us to pass. With everything our troops sacrifice for us, it is not just our duty but our moral obligation to provide them with the resources and authorities they need and deserve," said Chairman Skelton.
"For weeks, we have been working with our colleagues in the Senate to find the way forward on the defense authorization, and this may be our last chance. This is a bipartisan bill that provides the essential resources our troops need to operate. I urge the Democratic leadership to act with the necessary urgency so we can consider this legislation tomorrow."
Among other things, the bill:
* Authorizes funds to protect our warfighters from improvised explosive devices and prevent casualties;
* Protects military families from being hit with an increase in health care fees and allows military families to extend TRICARE coverage to their dependent children until age 26;
* Provides a pay raise to our troops; and
* Reforms the defense acquisition system to save billions of taxpayer dollars and expedite the process to get our warfighters the tools they need.