As you may have seen, the House of Representatives just passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017.
It is the 55th consecutive NDAA, legislation that authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and ensures that Congress fulfills its constitutional duty to make sure that our warfighters have the training and equipment that they need.
In addition to setting the priorities for our national defense, this legislation also has language that could be important to folks across East Alabama.
For example, an amendment was included that would help installations like the Anniston Army Depot in Calhoun County retain a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
The amendment would make it easier for the Depot to hire temporary and term employees for permanent positions as they became available.
This authority will allow the Depot to be as agile and nimble as possible in their support of the Army as they confront the ever-changing security threats from ISIS to Russia.
Another example of how the legislation could impact East Alabama is by forcing the Secretary of the Army to transfer its surplus vintage firearms to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP).
From there the CMP would take these vintage pistols and inspect, grade and prepare them for sale.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because last year in the same bill we ask that the Army turn over the pistols. Unfortunately, in what has become an all too common occurrence, the Obama Administration has chosen not to follow directives that Congress passes.
With the language included in this year’s House bill, the Army will have no choice but to turn over the pistols to the CMP.
The NDAA also included full funding of the missile defense request of our great allies in Israel for co-development and coproduction of Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow 3.
This funding is even more important now with Iran developing its missile technology at an alarming rate as a result of the President’s ill-conceived deal.
This legislation will help fund our brave men and women in uniform, keep our country safe from harm and will include these common sense solutions. I am pleased to have worked on this important legislation.
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Mike Rogers is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.