Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report for H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, by a vote of 270-155. The NDAA authorizes funding for the Department of Defense and establishes our national security priorities for the next fiscal year. Congressman Hice released the following statement after adoption of the Conference Report:
“I was proud to support this legislation which covers a wide scope of issues that are vitally important to our Armed Services, both active and reserve component, during a very trying time for the Department of Defense. I am especially pleased that the NDAA includes a 1.3% pay increase for our brave men and women in uniform and incorporates a new retirement plan for those who have previously been ineligible for participation in the military’s retirement program.
This measure maintains existing restrictions on transferring GTMO detainees to American soil and includes critically needed acquisition reform. The NDAA also rightly addresses the growing threat of cyber warfare by fully authorizing funding for U.S. Cyber Command and military intelligence programs, including up to $100 million for activities at Fort Gordon. Additionally, I applaud the conferees for authorizing funds for 63 Joint Strike Fighters at a time when potential near peer adversaries continue their pursuit of 5th generation stealth technology.
Lastly, in the wake of the tragic Chattanooga terrorist attack in July, I introduced H.R. 3138, the Military Recruiter Right to Carry Act. My legislation would provide those servicemembers assigned to recruitment centers the right to carry. I am encouraged that the NDAA clarifies that post Commanders may determine if those in their charge may carry firearms while on duty, including those stationed at recruitment centers. It is imperative that our men and women in uniform are able to protect themselves from terrorists both domestic and abroad."
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