Thursday: House Passes Defense Bill, Support For Drum
The House of Representatives passed the spending plan for the military for the coming year Thursday night, 315 to 107.
The National Defense Authorization Act includes a modest pay hike for service members, and more than $140 million for Fort Drum.
North country Congressman Bill Owens, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, supported the legislation.
“This legislation will help us supply America’s men and women in the field, protect critical training installations like Fort Drum and continue to maintain the world’s best fighting force,” said Owens in a prepared statement.
“I am pleased Congress was able to come together and agree on a path forward in support of America’s military and hope to see this bill signed quickly into law.”
Owens highlighted several sections of the bill and urged a "swift process to the President’s desk for signature."
Earlier this week, the House and Senate worked out their differences on the $633 billion spending measure, clearing the way for it to go to President Obama.
Support for Fort Drum
- $95 million for an aircraft hangar to support the installation’s combat aviation brigade. The U.S. Army recently reported that the brigade cannot function properly without a maintenance hangar of its own.
- $17.3 million for a soldier specialty care clinic, operated through the TRICARE Management Activity
- $25.9 million for data terminal complex at Drum for the Missile Defense Agency
Support for Service Members
- a 1.7% pay increase for military men and women.
- The bill caps the number of troops that can be cut from the Army and the Marine corps in a single year.
- The bill requires the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive policy on suicide prevention to protect service members. In addition, the bill creates a position within the Office of the Secretary of Defense responsible for overseeing suicide prevention programs throughout the services.