U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement today after the Senate approved the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, by a vote of 98 to 0:
"Earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues on Armed Services to pass the National Defense Authorization out of committee on a unanimous, bipartisan vote. The defense bill has now been similarly approved by the full Senate and awaits action in conference to be reconciled with the House version before it can be passed by Congress in its final form and sent to the President's desk.
The Senate-passed bill contains the important provisions for Alabama that we worked on in committee, including strong support for missile defense, the Littoral Combat Ship, Maxwell AFB's 908th Airlift Wing, and other key aircraft and combat vehicles. It also authorizes a 1.7% pay increase for our troops. This was achieved while keeping the bill within the new discretionary caps--redirecting unwise cuts while maintaining overall budgetary discipline and defending Alabama's irreplaceable contribution to our nation's defense.
Alabama has a proud tradition of military service, and our men and women in uniform are among the finest the world has ever known. They embody the courage, character, and dignity of our state.
I was also please that three amendments I offered on the Senate floor were adopted on a bipartisan basis: an amendment to posthumously promote a 19th century Buffalo Soldier from Alabama, a requirement that the Obama Administration develop a missile defense "hedging' strategy in light of its unwise decision to cancel or scale back the proven missile defense technology in Europe, and a requirement that before the President enters into any future security agreements between the U.S. and Afghanistan, such agreements be shared with Congress no less than 30 days in advance."