The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) voted 60-1 to authorize $696.5 billion in defense spending for 2018 Wednesday night with the support of three Members of the Alabama delegation that sit on the committee.
Reps. Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Mike Rogers (AL-03) and Mo Brooks (AL-05) all voted in favor of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funding and sets policy for the entire U.S. military.
Many reforms were included in this year’s NDAA, including:
- Increases total military spending by 10% to rebuild from our current readiness crisis;
- Funds a 2.4% pay raise for our troops;
- Reforms the military’s acquisition process to make it more efficient;
- Improves oversight of cyber operations;
- Creates a new U.S. Space Corps to oversee the evolving space domain;
- Increases the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard;
- Supports improvements to military facilities with a focus on restoration and modernization; and
- Authorizes construction of 13 new Navy ships to grow toward a 355 ship fleet.
“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act helps rebuild our nation’s military, boosts shipbuilding in an effort to grow our fleet, and ensures our military men and women have the resources necessary to defend our country,” said Byrne of the NDAA. “Once again, we were able to secure authorization for the construction of three more Littoral Combat Ships, which are built right here in Southwest Alabama. These ships continue to excel in the fleet, and that is a testament to the over 4,000 men and women who work at the Mobile shipyard.
The legislation included language important for Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District that affects the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and the Anniston Army Depot (ANAD). Language was also included to study some of the funding mechanisms of the depot in hopes of using the information to make workload planning more dependable and consistent.
“The men and women and the Anniston Army Depot work very hard to support our nation’s warfighter and I want to ensure we are doing everything we can in Congress to support them,” said Rogers.
“This is the first step in providing our nation’s military personnel with the resources needed to protect America,” remarked Brooks. “The FY18 NDAA authorizes a very substantial $62 billion increase over FY 2017 funding, thereby taking significant steps to reverse military declines and addressing America’s military readiness crisis by increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard.”
The bill is expected to be considered by the full House in July.