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Bradley Supports Defense Authorization Act

Location: Washington, DC

Legislation keeps our troops safe, blocks increases to TRICARE fees

(Washington, D.C.) - First District Congressman Jeb Bradley today voted for legislation that will protect our troops and supply them with the resources they need to fight the war on terror. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5122, the fiscal year 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, by a vote of 396 to 31 late this afternoon. The bill serves as a blueprint for our nation's military activities, setting policies, programs and funding levels for our armed forces.

"As we fight the war on terror on multiple fronts across the globe, it is vitally important that we provide our troops with the support and resources they need to do their jobs safely," stated Bradley, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. "This bill also reflects our continued commitment to improving benefits for servicemembers and their families by providing a 2.7 percent pay raise for all members of the armed forces and the continuation of targeted bonuses to retain soldiers in critical specialties."

H.R. 5122 prohibits the Defense Department's ability to increase TRICARE Prime, Standard and TRICARE Reserve Select fees. The bill also zeroes out co-pays for generic and formulary prescriptions through the TRICARE mail order pharmacy. TRICARE is the Military Health System's health care program for active duty military and their families, retirees and their families, and active duty reservists and National Guardsmen.

Other highlights of the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act include:

• Improves measures to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs) through an initiative to "take back the roads," by providing $109.7 million for signal jamming devices and $100 million for 10 manned surveillance aircraft to patrol road segments and other areas where IED activity is the greatest.

• Increases funding for production of body armor by $930 million and up-armored Humvees by $636 million.

• Increases active duty force levels in the Army by 30,000 and in the Marine Corps by 5,000.

• Authorizes $1.4 billion for the procurement of 20 F-22 aircraft.

• Authorizes funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at $4 billion and provides a $408 million increase for the JSF alternate engine program.

• Increases end strength for the Army National Guard by 17,100, and increases funding for National Guard personnel, operations and maintenance by $471 million.

• Provides for a 2.7 percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the armed forces.

Once the Senate passes its version of the bill, the two chambers must reconcile differences between their respective bills in a committee of conference.

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