House Passes National Defense Authorization Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives, with the support of Congressman Taylor, voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. The NDAA authorizes funding to equip, supply, and train troops, and provide for military families. Included in the bill was an amendment offered by Representative Taylor.
“Passing this bill is among our most fundamental jobs as Members of Congress, to provide for the common defense,” said Congressman Taylor. “That starts by ensuring our military is properly equipped with the tools they need to best do their jobs.”
The bill supports funds for base budget requirements of $631.5 billion, including a 28.5 billion increase for essential readiness recovery above the President’s budget request. Specifically, the NDAA addresses readiness gaps including $7.9 billion for Aviation Readiness, $5.9 billion for increased Naval presence, $5.7 billion for Ground Forces, $2.3 billion for facilities maintenance, and $2.5 billion for Missile Defense. It also authorizes increases in the size of Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. Furthermore, special pay and bonuses for servicemembers are extended, including a 2.4 percent pay raise. The bill also prevents the Executive Branch’s ability to reduce troop pay indefinitely. Servicemember benefits are also protected, including quality health care. The NDAA prohibits the reduction of inpatient care for military medical treatment facilities located outside of the United States, and offers resources to help military families during relocation by offering reimbursement for related expenses such as obtaining licensing or certification in other states.
“The world has gotten more dangerous while our military has gotten smaller,” said Congressman Taylor. “As a result, we have grown accustomed to expecting more from less. This bill affirms our commitment to the Nation’s defense by giving our troops a well-deserved pay raise, updates military equipment, and provides commonsense resources to help families manage the complications of military life.”
Also contained in NDAA FY18 is an amendment submitted by Congressman Taylor that expands credentialing opportunities for military personnel. Currently, the Armed Forces provide professional credentialing services that are only related to military skills. The amendment changes this by allowing military personnel to obtain professional credentials related to their training and skills that either acquired during the service or translate into civilian occupations.
“Clearly, we have a job skill shortage. Veterans are greatly equipped to fill these roles. This amendment helps smooth the way," said Congressman Taylor.