Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) and the U.S. House have approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2013 -- legislation to fulfill our Constitutional requirement to "provide for the common defense" by bolstering America's defense capabilities.
"The United States Constitution imparts only a few responsibilities to the federal government, with the defense of our country a top priority," said Hartzler. "This bill invests in military readiness and supports efforts to combat the threat of terrorism while ensuring that our military can sustain the power needed to defend our people and our country."
"This legislation is good for our national defense and for the men and women who protect our country," continued Hartzler. "A number of my amendments are part of the bill, including one to make sure all Coast Guard Reservists who are called to active duty under Title 14 are eligible for the same benefits afforded to other Reservists. I am also glad to see approximately $160 million will go to Fort Leonard Wood for vital new military construction projects. The NDAA also continues support for the family of long-range strike bomber programs, including the B-2, whose home is Whiteman Air Force Base. And there is good news for active and retired military personnel as the bill authorizes a troop pay increase of 1.7 percent and extends bonuses and special pay for our men and women in uniform. This bill contains no TriCare enrollment fee increases charged to those who have fought to protect our country."
"It must also be made clear that this bill has NO authorization for a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)," added Hartzler. "I fought against BRAC from the very beginning and was proud to support an amendment prohibiting a costly BRAC. With limited defense dollars we need to prioritize that money to the warfighter to reset and modernize our equipment after a decade of war, not expending money for BRAC."
Having been approved by the House, the bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.
Congresswoman Hartzler, a resident of Cass County, serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee.