May 8, 2014
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, announced today the passage by the Armed Services Committee of the annual defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“Providing for the common defense is among our most important Constitutional duties,” Congressman Forbes said. “The bill passed by the Armed Services Committee provides for the future health of our Navy and Marine Corps, invests in future technologies, and ensures that the promises made to our men and women in uniform are kept. The national security challenges of the coming decade require the type of serious, bipartisan leadership found in this legislation.”
Provisions Initiated by Forbes Include:
- Providing Planning and Advance Procurement Funding for the Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) of the USS George Washington (CVN-73). The bill provides for the continued service life of the CVN-73, meeting the legal requirement for the U.S. Navy to maintain an 11 carrier Fleet and rejecting an Administration plan to move toward a 10 carrier Fleet.
- Ensuring Continued Funding for the USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). The bill continues full funding for the next generation aircraft carrier, supporting U.S. power projection capabilities for decades to come.
- Continuing Critical Investments in Virginia-class Attack Submarines and Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers. The bill continues two-a-year procurement of Virginia-class submarines, maintaining U.S. dominance in the undersea domain, and two-a-year procurement of destroyers in FY15 at a time of growing demand for U.S. surface capabilities around the world.
- Preventing the Premature Retirement of 11 Navy Cruisers. The bill prevents the early retirement of Ticonderoga -class cruisers and Whidbey Island-class amphibious ships. This provision will require the Navy to begin HM&E and Combat Systems modernization on two cruisers in FY15.
- Providing an Additional Amphibious Ship in FY15. At the behest of Chairmen Forbes and Wittman, the bill provides an additional San Antonio-class amphibious vessel to meet the Navy and Marine Corps’ amphibious requirements.
- Continuing the Littoral Combat Ship Program. The bill authorizes the procurement of two LCS in support of the Navy’s continuing requirement for a small surface combatant.
- Authorizing an Additional 96 Tomahawk Missiles. The bill fills the Navy’s growing shortfall in munitions by procuring additional Tomahawk land-attack missiles.
- Setting direction for the UCLASS Program. The bill precludes the use of funds for the Navy’s future unmanned carrier platform pending a review by the Secretary of Defense of the requirements associated with the Navy’s unmanned aviation program.
- Standardizing Ship Counting Procedures to Avoid “Paper Ships”. The bill prevents the use of an expanded counting mechanisms used in the Thirty Year Shipbuilding Plan that misleadingly bolsters the size of the Navy’s Fleet.
- Supporting New Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare Weapon. The bill fully supports the development of the next generation offensive anti-surface warfare (OASUW) weapon.
Key Provisions of the NDAA:
- Military Compensation Commission and the President’s Proposed Benefit Cuts. The NDAA rejects the Administration’s proposed cuts to Tricare, Housing Allowances, and Commissary benefits. These cuts would have represented thousands of dollars in additional out-of-pocket expenses for our military personnel and their families.
- Increasing Troop Pay. The bill supports a 1.8% annual pay increase for our troops, as required by current law.
- Commissaries. The bill rejects $100 million in commissary cuts that would have disadvantaged our most junior personnel and their families.
- Military Suicide. The NDAA provides $45.3 million towards behavioral and psychological health programs to prevent military suicides and help our warriors make the transition from the war zone.
- Combatting Sexual Assault in the Military. The NDAA eliminates the “good soldier defense”, a consideration of general military character toward the probably of innocence in sexual assault prosecutions. It also calls for a review of the terms of discharge for those who are victims of sexual assault to ensure they have not been persecuted for reporting crimes.
About the National Defense Authorization Act
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 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 is considering the legislation, including proposed amendments, and will vote to report the bill for consideration before the House of Representatives. Upon passage, the bill is then 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.
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