As many of you across east Alabama may have seen or heard in the news: The National Defense Authorization Act recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives with my strong support.
This critical piece of legislation outlines how Congress will support our nation’s military. I was relieved to see that Congress increased the overall authorized funding for our nation’s military.
Several key provisions important to east Alabama made it into the bill. The first was a commitment to help protect jobs at important military facilities like the Anniston Army Depot, one of the Army’s most productive and efficient facilities.
Folks across east Alabama may remember a few years ago when the depot had to furlough some workers because of the Pentagon’s poor budget management. The new provision would protect facilities like the depot that operate under the Working Capital Fund from being forced to furlough workers in order to meet arbitrary budget demands from the Pentagon.
Another was my amendment to allow the Army to transfer its surplus vintage firearms to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) which has its southern headquarters in Anniston and will soon have the CMP park open in June in Talladega County.
If you’re a gun owner like I am, you may be familiar with the M1911A1. This iconic pistol used to serve as the standard U.S. armed forces sidearm, until it was replaced by the Berretta 9mm pistol. Although a few thousand of these pistols have been sold to foreign countries for a small fee, the remainder are in storage. That costs the taxpayer about $200,000 a year.
As a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I believe this bill is a common-sense approach to not only save the taxpayer money, but to allow gun collectors to add this vintage pistol to their collection.
It is my hope that both provisions will stay in the bill as the process moves forward in the Senate. I also hope the administration will ultimately support them. Providing for our national defense is a top priority to keep our country safe and our defenses strong.
Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District. He’s in his eighth term. You can sign up for his e-Newsletter at www.mikerogers.house.gov.