Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. The legislation includes an amendment sponsored by Congressman Mike Michaud to improve foreclosure protections for wounded veterans, troops, and their surviving families. Congressman Michaud opposed final passage of the bill.
"During a time of soaring budget deficits, this bill is not a serious commitment to reducing defense spending," said Michaud. "It authorizes funding levels $8 billion above the spending caps agreed to last year in the bipartisan Budget Control Act and does not set us on a path for sustainable defense spending."
Michaud's amendment expands foreclosure protection to servicemembers serving in support of contingency operations, surviving spouses of servicemembers whose deaths are service-related, and veterans who are 100% disabled at the time of discharge due to service-connected injuries.
In addition to the reauthorization of funding for efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bill includes language that increases funding for numerous defense programs, including additional missile defense installations not requested by the Administration. The legislation also contains language that would exempt the Department of Defense from alternative-fuel procurement requirements passed by Congress in 2007.
"I'm glad the bill included my amendment to extend and enhance foreclosure prevention protection for our troops serving overseas, our wounded warriors, and the families of those who gave their lives for this country," said Michaud. "But other amendments I supported to reduce defense spending, eliminate unnecessary DOD programs, and bring our troops home from Afghanistan did not pass. I opposed this bill because I believe that we must end our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan and must comply with our bipartisan commitments to get federal spending under control and reduce the deficit."