Congressman Bill Owens voted in the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) this morning in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13 NDAA). The legislation (H.R. 4310) passed the committee by a vote of 56-5 and contains funding critical to Fort Drum's continued role in the nation's security and New York's economic development.
"This legislation helps ensure America's warfighters have the resources they need to complete their mission, secure the nation, and return home safely," said Owens. "It is absolutely critical that we continue to offer complete support to the men and women engaged in combat overseas while helping to strengthen critical training installations like Fort Drum"
Owens highlighted the following projects and provisions below in the legislation, and urged its swift passage in the full House of Representatives:
SUPPORT FOR DRUM:
$95 million for an aircraft hangar to support the installation's combat aviation brigade. The U.S. Army recently reported that the brigade cannot function properly without a maintenance hangar of its own.
$17.3 million for a soldier specialty care clinic, operated through the TRICARE Management Activity
$25.9 million for data terminal complex at Drum for the Missile Defense Agency
SUPPORT FOR AMERICAN SERVICEMEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES:
A 1.7 percent pay raise for troops.
Excludes previous proposals to increase TRICARE pharmacy co-pays and enrollment fees.
Prohibits any Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) activity in fiscal year 2013.
H.R. 4310 also includes a number of provisions that help to support small businesses by removing barriers that prevent them from competing for contracts with the Department of Defense. Congressman Owens wrote to HASC Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) on this issue, which was addressed in the final legislation. Additionally, Owens drafted language included in the bill that would increase transparency for defense procurement with the goal of aiding small businesses, like some in New York's 23rd Congressional District, that supply critical war fighting equipment to the military. The Owens letter is attached to this news release.
Owens authored language included in H.R. 4310 that gives the Army authority to fund and participate in cooperative healthcare agreements, in support of the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization (FDRHPO).