Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted today in support of the bipartisan military spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill for fiscal year 2013 overwhelmingly passed by a vote of 299 to 120. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
"Like the Triple Crown, our national security isn't just about muscle and speed -- it's about strategy," Congressman Ruppersberger said. "This bill goes the distance, setting our long-term policies to tackle the emerging threats of tomorrow."
The bill provides troops with a 1.7 percent pay raise and measures to combat sexual violence in the military. It also removes barriers that prevent small businesses from competing for Department of Defense contracts. Congressman Ruppersberger strongly advocated for language to reform export regulations to strengthen American manufacturing, particularly within the satellite industry.
While he voted to support the bill, Congressman Ruppersberger remains concerned by its overall funding level.
"Again, we have failed to make the tough choices necessary to get our country's spending habits under control," Congressman Ruppersberger said. "For example, this bill authorizes spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a missile defense system against the advice of our military leaders. I have voted twice to oppose this project and will continue to support sensible cuts as this bill moves forward."
The Act authorized funding and includes language of particular interest to Maryland's Second District:
Language preventing the retirement of the C-27 aircraft, which are maintained and flown by the Maryland Air National Guard based at Martin State Airport in Middle River.
$325 million for building improvements and a high performance computing center at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade.
$21 million for the Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Reserve Center.
$10 million for the Baltimore Army Reserve Center near Curtis Bay.