House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson issued the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (FY14 NDAA):
"The House Armed Services Committee has made substantial progress this year in authorizing the appropriate resources necessary to maintain and defend our national security. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon has shown tremendous leadership through the entire process of adopting the 52nd consecutive National Defense Authorization Act. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am humbled by the opportunity to advocate on behalf of our brave men and women in uniform, military families, and our veterans, who have dedicated their lives to keep us safe. They deserve nothing less than our unwavering gratitude and support."
List of provisions Congressman Wilson has helped secure in the FY14 NDAA:
Sexual Assault and Misconduct Provisions -- As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I have worked with Chairman Buck McKeon to combat sexual assault and misconduct in the military by promoting reporting, prosecution, and preventing retaliation. The committee-passed FY14 NDAA includes measures to make additional progress on this issue. Sexual assault will not be tolerated and has no place in our Armed Forces. Our brave men and women risk their lives to protect us and we must do everything within our power to protect them from such heinous crimes.
Necessary Medical Evaluations -- Far too often our service members suffer from undiagnosed illnesses and are discharged from the military without a medical evaluation. By closing a loophole within the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), our brave men and women who are injured in combat will receive the proper care and treatment they have earned and deserve. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are conditions affecting many of our service members after twelve years of combat operations. It is our obligation to provide the appropriate care for those service members who are suffering on our behalf, instead of terminating their service without a thorough examination.
Secures Future for MOX -- The MOX (Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication) Facility located at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina, is a necessary project that allows the United States to honor our nuclear nonproliferation agreement with Russia. The facility, which is over 60% completed, has recently come under attack as the Administration has paralyzed and delayed its progress. I am thankful that the FY14 NDAA calls for a study to find ways to reduce costs through efficiencies and generate revenue returns on the facility's investments. This measure will protect our national security and honor our international obligations in a fiscally conservative manner.
Honors Fallen Military Heroes --The victims of the Fort Hood, Texas, and Little Rock (Arkansas) Recruiting Station shootings by terrorists in 2009 deserve our honor and recognition. Just as those who lost their lives in the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001, with the adoption of my amendment, these brave men and women will also be awarded the Purple Heart.
Environmental Cleanup -- The President's FY14 budget proposal reduced necessary resources to provide for nuclear environmental cleanup at the Savannah River Site. In working with committee leadership, I was able to secure program funding, which will allow the Site to complete its vital national security missions while maintaining a dedicated workforce.
Compensation Obligations -- Current law provides that the members of our Armed Services will receive a 1.8% pay raise. By choosing not to adopt the proposal to lower the pay raise to 1%, the House Armed Services Committee is choosing to keep the faith with those who serve. Sequestration originated in the White House and has created a dangerous fiscal environment, but it is unconscionable to ask for cost-savings on the backs of our brave men and women who continue to go into harm's way.
Protects TRICARE - By refusing to grant the Administration the legislative authority to raise TRICARE enrollment fees beyond what is currently allowed, the House Armed Services Committee is ensuring the commitments that have previously been made to our Armed Forces will be fulfilled. As Chairman, I remain committed to ensuring that our service members and retirees have the highest quality medical care available.