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Annual Defense bill passes House

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Washington, June 14, 2013 | comments

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon), the Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following comments after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.  The vote was 315 to 108:
 
“Budgets are shrinking, but the threats to our country are not.  This strong, bipartisan bill reflects both of these realities, while also providing significant support for our fighting forces, offering additional resources for other national security efforts, and helping us prepare to deal with threats that are still emerging and evolving.  The Bill also strengthens congressional oversight and restricts some questionable policy proposals by the Administration.”


LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS:

 

  • Bell Helicopter projects funded at $2.091 billion for the V-22 Osprey program, $850.5 million for Huey and Cobra (UH-1Y/AH-1Z) helicopters, and $421.1 million for the Kiowa Warrior;
  • Pantex will see a 2.3 percent increase in its budget with this Bill, thanks to the House Armed Services Committee which increased the funding provided for certain nuclear weapons activities—much of which is performed at Pantex—by $220 million.  

 
BILL HIGHLIGHTS:
 

  • Authorizes $552.1 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DoD) and national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE).  
  •  1.8 percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the Armed Forces in 2014, higher than the 1 percent pay raise found in the President’s budget proposal.  
  •  Thornberry provision allowing 170,000 military retirees and their families who live 40 miles outside of an active or former military base to keep Tricare Prime.  The Pentagon proposed ending the service for such beneficiaries beginning in 10/1/ 2013.
  •  Thornberry’s oversight of sensitive military operations measure, which would require prompt notification of any overseas lethal or capture operation outside of Afghanistan – including those conducted with “drones.”  
  •  Makes numerous changes to procedures for prosecuting alleged sexual assaults.
  •  Several provisions to restrict the transfer of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
  • Prohibit the use of funds to propose, plan for or execute an additional base closure and realignment round (BRAC).
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