Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), member of the House Armed Services Committee, Persian Gulf War veteran and the only noncommissioned officer concurrently serving in Congress and the National Guard, today announced passage of the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 299-120.
"Today the House approved a solid piece of legislation that puts the well-being of our men and women in uniform first and supplies them with much-needed resources," Palazzo stated. "This bipartisan bill gives our troops what they need to respond to current and emerging threats."
The House bill included a 1.7% troop pay increase, and prevented overbearing health care and retirement fee increases for troops and veterans.
Congressman Palazzo supported several specific initiatives in the House Armed Services Committee markup, before the bill came to the House floor for a vote. One such amendment stalls the movement of C-130's from several bases in the continental U.S., including Keesler Air Force Base, until further analysis can be done to show the moves are cost-effective. Other initiatives included language supporting the constructing of amphibious ships and a DDG-51 destroyer for the Navy. Such ships would play a key role in the Pentagon's most recent strategy shift that calls for increased U.S. presence in the Pacific.
Palazzo also supported two amendments that would clarify and reinforce the Defense of Marriage Act on military bases, in addition to protecting the rights of conscience for servicemembers and chaplains.
All amendments were agreed to and passed out of committee on a bipartisan basis.