House passes defense spending bill with Alabama delegation support

military branches flags

On Friday, the annual defense policy bill overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 375 to 34. It now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration next week.

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), funds the Pentagon and related military and intelligence operations through the next fiscal year.

Specifically, the 2017 NDAA:

  • Contains $619 billion total for national defense
    • Provides  $5.8 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe
    • Supplies  an additional $3.2 billion for Readiness Stabilization Funding in an effort to stop additional reductions of the military
  • Includes critical funding for Army helicopters
    • $882 million for 52 AH-64 Apache helicopters
    • $755 million for 36 new UH-60M multi-use Black Hawks for the Army and National Guard
    • $126 million for the  Improved Turbine Engine Program – a program essential to the development of a next generation engine for Blackhawk and Apache helicopter platforms
  • Supports  the Littoral Combat Ship program (LCS) by providing $1.1 million for two new Littoral Combat Ship
  • Provides a 2.1% pay raise for our troops
  • Maintains the current Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH), including for dual military families
  • Improves access to health care for our troops and their families
  • Prohibits the transfer of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the United States, prohibits closure of the facility, and prohibits the transfer of the naval base to Cuba
  • Provides the resources to combat Islamic extremists and to assist foreign security forces, such as the Kurds and Sunnis, to fight ISIS
  • Supports our European allies to counter Russian aggression and funds the Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense programs
  • Delivers improved technology to the warfighter faster

While most chamber Democrats backed the legislation, despite the $619 billion price tag coming $3.2 billion dollars over White House requests, Alabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell chose not to vote.

Here’s how the delegation voted and what they had to say about the bill:

Bradley Byrne_YesAlabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne:

This NDAA stops the drawdown of the military and authorizes critical funding for the operation and maintenance of our military. The bill authorizes important funding for training, helps rebuild outdated infrastructure, and ensures our military men and women have the munitions they need for ongoing operations.

Martha Roby_YesAlabama 2nd District U.S. Rep. Martha Roby:

The Fiscal Year 2017 NDAA authorizes funding for the Department of Defense so that our service men and women have the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs. I’m pleased that the House took this critical step to support our troops and keep Americans safe.

I look forward to working with the Trump Administration early next year to provide additional resources to fully fund unmet procurement needs, ensuring that our military – from the Generals making strategic decisions at the Pentagon to the warfighter on the front lines – have all that they need to defend our nation.

Mike Rogers_YesAlabama 3rd District U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers:

I am pleased the NDAA passed the House today with my strong support.  This is a critical piece of legislation that helps take care of our brave men and women in uniform.  This bill will strengthen our military, provide for vital installations like the Anniston Army Depot and authorize the funding needed to keep America safe. It will also give our service members the pay raise they deserve that they have not gotten in the past four years.

Robert Aderholt_Yes

Alabama 4th District U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt: No comment made at this time.

Mo Brooks_YesAlabama 5th District U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks:

In recent years, budget cuts have slashed vital funding for training and equipment, creating a readiness crisis. The FY17 NDAA protects programs critical to ensuring our warfighters have the training and weaponry needed to protect America. Specifically, the legislation increases ground and aviation training and replenishes depleted munitions inventories.  In addition, the FY17 NDAA fully fund’s Israel’s missile defense requirements and rejects cuts to TRICARE, Housing Allowances, and Commissary benefits for service members and their families.  The FY17 NDAA also includes the largest pay raise for our troops in six years.

Gary Palmer_YesAlabama 6th District U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer:

terri-sewell-no-voteAlabama 7th District U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell: