Friday, February 17, 2017
Billy Long: Providing for our military is the right thing to do
One of my primary responsibilities as a Congressman, and something I am very honored to do, is to make sure that the men and women who serve our country are taken care of and get the care and treatment they deserve. Last December, I voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017. This legislation funds the critical programs in the Department of Defense to ensure the military has the strength it needs to carry out its mission of protecting our country.
The NDAA provides $619 billion for national defense, which is $9 billion more than President Obama’s budget request. The additional $9 billion will help close the readiness gap, which will stop the drawdown of the military, rebuild our military and make sure that our troops have the most up-to-date resources and tools when carrying out missions.
Not only does the NDAA go above and beyond what former President Obama requested, it continues to prohibit transferring of Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil and helps combat sexual assault in the military. Finally, this piece of legislation gives our troops a pay raise, something that was long overdue.
My first priority is making sure that that my constituents are safe, and by voting in favor of this bill, I am reassured it will accomplish just that. Not only does this legislation help our men and women in uniform, but it ensures those who do not serve are also taken care of.
With significant bipartisan support, the NDAA passed the House by a vote of 375-14, the Senate by a vote of 92-7 and signed into law by the President.
With so much talk about gridlock in Washington, there are still many issues my colleagues and I can work with each other on, and that includes making sure our military has the resources it needs to protect our country.