Jun 27 2019
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today released the following statement following the Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 86 – 8:
“The Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act is an essential step in providing our military with the means and resources to protect our nation efficiently and effectively,” said Senator Shelby, chairman of the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. “We live in an increasingly dangerous world, and our national security relies heavily on our armed services receiving the tools and training needed to defend America both at home and abroad. I strongly support this bipartisan measure and will continue my work on the Appropriations Committee to ensure that our defense priorities are funded.”
The NDAA authorizes a total of $750 billion for national defense priorities to support the 2.1 million service men and women in the U.S. military and their families. The legislation provides for a 3.1 percent pay raise for our troops and authorizes Active-Duty end strength at the administration-requested level. Further, the bill aims to advance an international order that prioritizes the safety and security of our nation, increases efforts to rebuild readiness, and recognizes the importance of protecting our nation’s assets and abilities in space.
The Senate-passed defense measure contains many provisions specifically impacting Alabama, highlighting the state’s critical role in our national defense. The bill provides new opportunity for the shipbuilding industry along the Gulf Coast, with support for the conversion of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships into medical ships, which would take place at Austal Shipbuilding in Mobile. It also contains provisions supporting missiles and missile defense efforts in Huntsville and Troy, along with increased opportunity in cyber and advancements to hypersonic weapons. Additionally, the NDAA authorizes three military construction projects throughout Alabama, including a new project in Anniston that would replace training barracks built in World War II for the National Guard. Finally, the authorizing legislation contains a path for continued progress when it comes to space launch, prohibiting changes to the National Security Space Launch Program to ensure we end our reliance on the Russian RD-180 engine in an agile and effective manner.
Following final passage of the NDAA, the Senate Appropriations Committee will author and advance legislation to fund the nation’s defense operations.