On Friday the U.S. House passed H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA), including an amendment authored by U.S. Representatives Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) and Denny Rehberg (R-MT). The amendment blocks the New START Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Russia, from forcing the United States to unilaterally disarm its nuclear arsenal.
"This bill rightfully prioritizes Congress' constitutional responsibility to protect the nation, which also means safeguarding the well-being of military families," Rep. Lummis said. "This bill helps us to restore our military after a decade at war and keep faith with the uniformed men and women dedicating their lives to defense of our country."
With passage, the NDAA provides the pay, funding and authorities for the United States military. H.R. 4310 would authorize the Base Budget for the Department of Defense at $554.2 billion, in addition to $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations. The bill restores $3.7 billion in cuts proposed by the President, made possible by a House Republican budget plan that identified responsible non-defense savings in order to fulfill Congress' responsibility to the military.
Other highlights of the bill include:
· Authorizes a 1.7% pay increase for the troops;
· Rejects President Obama's proposal to increase TRICARE fees and pharmacy costs;
· Makes sure TRICARE fees do not increase faster than the annual military retiree COLA;
· Slows the pace of the Obama administration's proposal to reduce our military's end-strength; and
· Ensures that the Administration's terrorist detainment policies do not deny citizens and lawful residents access to the federal courts.