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Senate Armed Service Committee Completes Conference of National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee,
announced today that the committee has completed its conference of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The bill authorizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE).

Senator Levin said, "The conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, which was adopted today by the conference committee, provides well-deserved support for the men and women of the armed forces and their families and provides them with
the means to accomplish their missions." Senator Levin continued, "I am particularly pleased that we were able to reach agreement on important provisions dealing with the pay and benefits of our troops and retirees, the required reporting by cleared defense contractors of cyber intrusions, and investments in the technologies our men and women in uniform will need in the future, while ensuring appropriate stewardship of taxpayer dollars."
Senator McCain said, in expressing support for the bill, "I thank Chairmen Levin and McKeon and Ranking Member Smith for their hard work. This Conference Report demonstrates that when it comes to addressing the issues of our men and women in uniform, Congress can work together
in a bipartisan and bicameral way. The bill contains many vital provisions that will help the Department of Defense meet the Nation's security objectives around the world, provide for the continued readiness of our armed forces, support military families, and improve defense
acquisition and contracting."

Senator Levin added, "As Senator McCain leaves his position as Ranking Member of the Committee, I want to thank him for his dedication and hard work as my partner in moving the annual NDAA through the legislative process these last few years. I know he will continue to be a leading member of our committee and I look forward to continuing to work with him to address issues of importance to our military men and women and their families."

Note: This section describes major provisions contained in the markup agreement. Some items are repeated in the Detailed Description section following these major highlights.

1. Improve the quality of life of the men and women of the all-volunteer force (active duty, National Guard, and reserves) and their families, as well as Department of Defense civilian personnel, through fair pay, policies and benefits, and address the needs of the wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families.

2. Authorizes fiscal year 2013 active-duty end strengths for the Army of 552,100; the Navy, 322,700; the Marine Corps, 197,300; and the Air Force, 329,460.

3. Authorizes additional active-duty and reserve end strengths for the Air Force to support changes to the revised Air Force force structure proposal.

4. Authorizes or extends various force shaping authorities to allow the Department to draw down forces in a measured and equitable manner.

5. Authorizes a 1.7 percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services, consistent with the President's request.

6. Establishes the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to review elements of military compensation and retirement benefits to ensure the long-term viability of the all-volunteer force, enable a high quality of life for military families, and to modernize and achieve sustainability of the compensation and retirement systems, while grandfathering the retired pay of current service members and retirees.

7. Enhances programs and authorities to prevent and respond to sexual assault in the military.

8. Enhances suicide prevention programs.

9. Establishes cost-sharing rates under the TRICARE pharmacy benefits program for fiscal year 2013 in statute, and in fiscal years 2014 through 2022 limits any annual increases in pharmacy copayments to increases in retiree cost of living adjustments.

10. Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a 5-year pilot program to refill prescription maintenance medications for TRICARE for Life beneficiaries through TRICARE's national mail-order pharmacy program.

11. Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a 1-year pilot program to provide for the treatment of autism spectrum disorders, including applied behavior analysis, for all TRICARE beneficiaries under the basic program.

12. Authorizes DOD to pay for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

13. Clarifies that the maximum award under the combat-related special compensation (CRSC) statute may not, when combined with the amount of retired pay payable to a retiree after mandatory reductions are taken relative to VA disability compensation, cause the total of such combined payments to exceed the amount of retired pay the member would have been entitled to based solely on years of service.

14. Requires the armed forces to accommodate the beliefs of a service member reflecting the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member and, in so far as practicable, would prohibit use of such beliefs as the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment.

For more highlights, please view the source.

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