Rutherford Votes to Rebuild Our Military, Increase Pay for Our Troops
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rutherford issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (344-81) to fund the U.S. military and the Department of Defense.
Congressman Rutherford said, “Today’s vote fulfills the promise that we made to our military at home and abroad to continue to rebuild our capabilities and keep our nation safe. Northeast Florida is home to critical military installations that are essential to foreign and domestic missions, and this legislation bolsters thetools required to execute their duties. It also makes key investments in our military’s readiness, while providing a 2.4% pay increase for our brave men and women in uniform. I remain committed to ensuring our troops have the resources they need to protect our nation and am proud we voted today on a bipartisan basis to reach our goal of maintaining peace through strength.”
Highlights from the FY 2018 NDAA
Readiness and Rebuilding Our Military
America’s military leaders continue to warn that our personnel and their equipment are stretched too thin after years of war, billions in budget cuts, and continuing budget uncertainty. As countless military leaders have testified, we have too many planes that cannot fly, too few ships, and too many emerging threats. To help alleviate the stress on the force, this NDAA authorizes increases in the overall funding level and end strength of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard in accordance with the threats we face. It also shows Congress’s commitment to increasing procurement and modernizing our military’s assets to help it carry out its vital mission. This legislation adds significant funding to depots and other accounts that help keep our weapons and equipment ready. Also of specific interest to Florida’s 4th congressional district, and those serving at NS Mayport, NAS Jacksonville, and our other premiere military installations, this legislation includes strong support for the LCS program, the MQ-4 Triton, the P-8A, and F/A-18 maintenance and procurement.
Supporting Military Families
The NDAA fully funds the 2.4% pay raise our troops are entitled to under law and extends special pay and bonuses for servicemembers.
Confronting Aggression and Addressing Emerging Threats
As we have seen with the recent activity in North Korea, threats around the globe only continue to increase, and we in Congress are responding with passing this legislation. The NDAA provides strong funding for the Afghan Security Forces, directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, provides lethal assistance to the Ukraine, and increases funding to the European Deterrence Initiative (ERI) to counter Russian aggression. It fully funds $8 billion for cyber operations, an increase of $1.7 billion, and fully supports the Department’s defensive and offensive cyberspace capabilities and strategies. It also adds $2.5 billion above the President’s budget request to meet critical missile defense needs.