Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) issued the following statement after the House passed the conference report of FY 13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA directs defense policy for America's Armed Forces. The completed conference report reflects the work of House and Senate conferees who hammered out differences between earlier House and Senate versions of the bill. The NDAA conference report passed the House by a vote of 315 to 107.
"This bill provides the certainty that members of our Armed Forces need to do their jobs. While the FY 13 NDAA reflects concerns about America's mounting debt, it also ensures our troops have the necessary resources to protect our freedoms in an increasingly dangerous world.
"Perhaps most importantly, this bill provides more funding for our Armed Forces than President Obama originally requested. Our bill recognizes that the military has absorbed half of all deficit reduction efforts so far, yet comprises less than 20 percent of the federal budget.
"Our troops have paid far more than their "fair share' and this bill attempts to give our men and women in uniform the respect they have rightly earned."-- Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Note: House Leadership selected Congressman Lamborn to serve on the conference committee to work out the difference between the House and Senate versions of NDAA.
Highlights of FY 2013 NDAA
Guantanamo Bay: The FY13 NDAA prohibits the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
Troop Pay: The FY13 NDAA authorizes a 1.7% pay increase and extends bonuses and special pay for our men and women in uniform.
Rebuilding a Military Tested by a Decade at War: The FY 13 NDAA restores and retains vital systems, platforms, capabilities, and authorities needed to maintain America's combat power after a decade of war. It also invests in capabilities necessary to meet the challenges of the future. The bill declines to take up Administration requests, such as two rounds of base closure, which could damage vital military infrastructure.
Limiting Troop Reductions: As the size of the military is reduced, the FY13 NDAA caps the number of troops that can be separated from the Army and Marine Corps in a single year.
Conscience Clause for Servicemembers and Chaplains: This provision requires the Armed Forces to accommodate the moral principles and religious beliefs of service members and chaplains and restricts adverse personnel actions because of those beliefs.
Suicide Prevention: The FY13 NDAA responds to the nations' profound concern about suicides by members of our military. The bill requires DOD to develop a comprehensive policy on the prevention of suicide among service members. It also requires the Secretary to establish a position within the Office of the Secretary of Defense that would be responsible for overseeing all suicide prevention and resilience programs of DOD and the military services.
Competition and Innovation: The FY13 NDAA introduces bipartisan reforms aimed at the way the Defense Department interacts with the private sector, opening more opportunities for small businesses, increasing competition, and spurring innovation. It also requires the Secretary to develop a national security strategy for the industrial base and eliminates obstacles to small business competition for Defense Department initiatives.
Iran: Asserts that the U.S. should be prepared to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the U.S., its allies, or Iran's neighbors with a nuclear weapon and reinforces the military option should it prove necessary.
Iran Sanctions: The NDAA extends sanctions to additional sectors of the Iranian economy, including energy, shipping, ship building, and financial services, in an effort to further restrict areas where the Government of Iran can generate revenue.
Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Programs:This bill authorizes Congress to provide Israel $211 million to continue funding their successful missile defense program that proved vital in protecting Israeli civilians from Palestinian rockets in the recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas.