Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) released the following statement after the passage of S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
“One of the most vital responsibilities of Congress is to provide for the common defense, by ensuring the safety and security of our nation and its citizens,” Mullin said. “The NDAA FY17 sends the message that our number one priority in government is supporting our troops.”
The NDAA supports $619 billion for our national defense. Funding levels match the President’s original budget request and authorizes an additional $5.8 billion for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe. Another $3.2 billion is authorized for Readiness Stabilization Funding, which replenishes depleted inventories, stops troop reductions, and bolsters military readiness.
“These funds will maintain our nation’s military operations so that our troops will be fully prepared and have all of the resources they need to combat the war on terror,” Mullin added.
Also included in the NDAA FY17 is a provision to give a full 2.1% pay raise to our servicemen and women, and language from Congressman Mullin’s DOD Workforce Flexibility Act (H.R. 4687).
“Our men and women in the armed forces work tirelessly to protect and defend our nation. While we cannot offer enough to thank them for their unending service to our nation, this 2.1% pay raise is well-deserved for service members and their families,” Mullin said. “H.R. 4687 gives installations with a civilian workforce, like the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, more flexibility in their hiring decisions by allowing temporary employees to apply for permanent positions under merit promotion procedures instead of having to start the application process from scratch.”
Another provision of the bill directs the Department of Defense to properly and fairly adjudicate cases related to the inappropriate attempt to recoup bonuses that had been issued to members of the California National Guard.
“In October, the California National Guard asked servicemen and women to return bonuses that were given to them years ago. This demand by the Department of Defense was outrageous, and with the passage of the NDAA, we are setting up an expedited process to review these cases, waive inappropriate recoupments, and to repay those soldiers who have already paid back their bonuses. Additionally, the Department of Defense is responsible for reaching out to each soldier and notifying credit agencies when a soldier’s debts have been forgiven.”
“I am proud to support the NDAA FY17. I’m grateful for our men and women in uniform who protect our freedoms here at home and abroad, and I am confident that the passage of this bill will give provide them with the resources they need to continue to defend our great nation.”
The Conference Report to Accompany S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, passed the House by a vote of 375 – 34.