As many of you across East Alabama may have heard, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. While this bill helps rebuild America’s military, it also contains language that could positively affect us locally.
Included in the NDAA was an amendment I offered that would allow the Army to release excess 1911 pistols from storage and transfer them to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for them to inspect, grade, prepare for sale and sell the pistols to the public.
This policy has been included in the NDAA since 2015, but the Obama Administration blocked the Army to transfer the 1911s for political reasons. I am hopeful that with the help of the Trump Administration, we can make this provision a reality.
The Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) also will see the benefit of some of the language that I was happy to be able to help shape.
Like one that would extend the authority of the Department of Defense to pay depot employees deployed to combat zones an additional allowance and benefits due to the dangerous nature of their locations.
Another provision would also extend authority to make it easier for the Depot’s leadership to consider temporary and term employees for permanent positions when they become available. This policy allows the leadership at the Depot the maximum flexibility and gives them the ability to hire good folks they have already trained.
I am proud this year’s bill included a 2.4 percent pay raise for our military. This would be the biggest pay raise in eight years. These brave Americans protect our freedoms and liberties every day and we owe them so much.
The NDAA still has to go to conference committee with the Senate, but I am pleased with the legislation that passed the House and will continue to fight to make sure America’s military is robust and fully equipped.
Mike Rogers is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.