Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, announced that the full House Armed Services Committee approved the annual national defense policy bill, or the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013, (H.R. 4310), that includes his work to improve the readiness posture of the nation’s Armed Forces.
“This year’s defense authorization bill not only ensures that our nation’s military is ready, but it makes key investments to maintain its future success,” said Congressman Forbes. “Despite an Administration that is dedicated to dismantling our Armed Services through budget cuts, base closings and pink slips, this bill maintains the strong national defense that every American deserves.”
Key Provisions of the NDAA include:
- Rejects the Administration's Base Closure and Realignment Proposal.
- Denies the Administration's plan to scrap three cruisers in FY13 well before the end of their expected service life of 35 years. Legislation will not only retain these national assets but also prohibit the expenditure of FY13 funds to make preparations to retire or deactivate any Cruisers or Dock Landing Ships (LSDs).
- Authorizes a multi-year procurement for up to 10 Virginia-class submarines and restored advanced procurement for one submarine that the Administration had proposed to eliminate.
- Authorizes a multi-year procurement for up to 10 DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers.
- Prevents the administration from ending the homeland aerospace defense mission at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, a decision the Administration made without cost-benefit and risk-based assessment.
- Protects the skilled labor force for our aircraft carrier industrial base by ensuring the nuclear refueling, defueling and complex overhaul of a carrier will continue to be conducted by America's shipyards.
- Rejects attempts to arbitrarily cut the size of the DOD civilian workforce by over 118,000 people.
- Strengthens conscience protections for Chaplains and Servicemembers to protect individual religious freedoms from Religious persecution. Also prevents use of federal military facilities for same sex marriage ceremonies, consistent with the Defense of Marriage Act.
- Authorizes $497.2 million TOTAL for Virginia military construction projects as requested by the services in the President's Budget, including $81 million for an Individual Training Barracks Complex at Fort Lee and $11.1 million for a Special Operations Force Combat Service Support Facility at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek- Fort Story.
- Honors its commitment to generations of service members and their families by rejecting Administration proposals to increase some TRICARE fees and establish other new TRICARE fees. In addition, the FY 13 NDAA authorizes a 1.7% pay increase for our men and women in uniform and caps the number of troops that can be separated from the force in a single year.
- Includes provisions to encourage the development and promulgation of a set of Modeling and Simulation Grand Challenges for the research community that would enhance interagency coordination.
About the Annual National Defense Policy Bill
The annual national defense policy bill, or National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, authorizes the enactment of appropriations for DoD programs and initiatives while setting forth priorities, organizational structure, and responsibilities of program and agency officials. The bill consists of portions, or marks, written and approved by each Subcommittee. The full Armed Services Committee considered the legislation, including proposed amendments, and voted to report the bill for consideration before the House of Representatives. Upon passage, the bill will be sent to the Senate. Typically after the Senate passes its version of the legislation, Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees conference to reconcile differences and agree upon a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which will be sent to the President for his signature.