Congressman John Carter (R-TX31) voted for the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday, which authorizes funding at $526.8 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) discretionary base budget. Rep. Carter, Vice Chairman of Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, represents Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the world and says the NDAA will restore readiness to the Armed Forces. The package passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and a vote of 350-69.
"Military readiness is lower than it has been in decades. This is completely unacceptable and is a worry that keeps me up at night. The President's sequester forced cuts across the DoD, stifling readiness operations, including training. We must ensure our troops are ready for action if and when we call them up to serve our country in a time of need," said Rep. Carter. "The NDAA will restore vital readiness operations and provide a viable budget that supports high priority national security initiatives."
The NDAA also ensures the religious liberties of military members and chaplains are protected.
"Our men and women in uniform should never have to censor their religious affiliation. This section of the NDAA will ensure soldiers can support religious organizations of their choosing," said Rep. Carter.
The initial NDAA also included language requiring DoD to reexamine awarding the Purple Heart medal and benefits to the victims of the Fort Hood shooting. The language requires a response within 180 days.
The NDAA also includes the following:
Provides additional funding for Guard and Reserve equipment,
Requires reports from DoD on Benghazi,
Combats Sexual Assaults in the Military,
Prohibits the transfer of GITMO detainees to the U.S.,
Places restrictions on funding to Pakistan,
Recognizes the continued threats by Iran,
Restores vital readiness accounts to cover underfunded combat operations.
Abrams tank upgrades will also take place under the NDAA, providing additional funding for upgrades and heavy equipment recovery vehicles for the Army. Much of this vital work is done by Texans.