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Senate Armed Services Committee approves National Defense bill

MOHAMED NAGUIB MILITARY BASE, Egypt – Spc. Zachary Johnson, M249 gunner for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 155th Infantry Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Spartan, provides cover for Soldiers dismounting from their Bradley Fighting Vehicles during the Situational Training Exercise on September 13, 2018. The event was part of Bright Star 18 and combined the U.S., Egyptian, and Jordanians armed forces. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Keeler)

Mississippi’s U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, voted this week to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to the full Senate.

Image courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Roger Wicker

The committee-passed legislation outlines America’s military priorities and national security interests for the coming years. “The Senate Armed Services Committee reported a strong, bipartisan proposal for our national defense that would provide our military men and women with the tools and resources they need to keep us safe,” Wicker said. “I thank Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed for their tireless work to ensure the NDAA advanced on time despite the extraordinary circumstances facing our nation.”

“In Mississippi, this proposal would have a major impact. I was glad to see that the final proposal includes strong support for shipbuilding and military manufacturing and provisions to upgrade our state’s military bases,” Wicker continued.

The legislation would authorize a topline figure of $740.5 billion for national defense, consistent with the 2019 bipartisan budget agreement. Among other provisions, it would also provide a 3 percent pay raise for all members of the armed forces and $21.3 billion for the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan.

The Senate’s defense proposal would:

  • Support the implementation of Wicker’s SHIPS Act, which made it the policy of the United States to acquire a 355-ship fleet as soon as practicable.
  • Support military family readiness by advocating for the employment of military spouses and ensuring the Department provides high-quality and accessible child care.
  • Ensure that previous reforms to the military privatized housing program are implemented.
  • Improve how the Pentagon manages its budget and make the process more transparent and accountable to Congress and the American people.
  • Include a Wicker-led amendment to create a whole-of-government response to spectrum management.

Click here for an executive summary.

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