This past week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 with a vote of 377-48. This annual bill authorizes the various military programs and defense activities in the Department of Defense. It does not provide budget authority, which will be provided in future legislation.
The United States Armed Forces are the world’s most powerful military. It is imperative for our country’s national security and the performance of our military that Congress provide ample support for our defense. This bill allows us to make progress toward increasing the strength and agility of our military. The FY 2020 NDAA bill provides a 3.1 percent pay raise to our troops, which is the largest pay increase in a decade. The bill will also establish the U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of the military within the U.S. Air Force.
As a representative in the U.S. Congress, it is my duty to be a voice for my constituents in Southeast Alabama, and supporting our military is one of my top priorities. The Second Congressional District is home to two of our nation’s finest military installations – Fort Rucker in the Wiregrass and Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. Not only do we have a strong defense industry in the Second District, but the state of Alabama’s military footprint is largely significant as well.
Several service members and active duty military families reside in our District, so it is vitally important that I commit my support to them. Their sacrifice and dedication to keeping our country safe must never be forgotten.
By representing these men and women, I know the extreme importance of providing the members of our military with the best resources possible to ensure they are fit for whatever challenges they may face. From my first day in Congress until my last, I will continue to fight for sufficient military funding to safeguard the security of our nation.
Providing for our common defense is a fundamental duty of the Congress as laid out in the Constitution. I am proud to have voted in favor of this critical piece of legislation. The decisions and votes I cast in Congress express the overall voice of our District, and I will always advocate for proper support of our nation’s defense. By supporting this bill, I believe I am doing what’s right by the service members of the Second District. It is truly an honor to represent the remarkable service members and veterans of my constituency. I am thankful for the opportunity to have this unique platform to fight for these men and women who selflessly dedicate themselves to defend and protect our nation. Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.