Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014by Representative Susan A. Davis
Posted on 2013-12-12
DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R.
3304, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2014.
As ranking member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee, I am pleased this bill includes a number of provisions that continue our commitment to our Armed Forces.
I want to thank Chairman Joe Wilson for working with me in a bipartisan manner to support our servicemembers and their families.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to recognize the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, and Adam Smith, the ranking member, for their really excellent, wonderful leadership.
I want to thank the hardworking staff as well on the Military Personnel Subcommittee: Debra, Craig, Dave, Jeanette, Jon, and Colin.
Sexual assault has been a focus of this committee for the last several years, and this bill continues to make significant progress toward increasing victim empowerment and holding commands accountable at all levels. The portions of this bill addressing sexual assault send a clear message: if you can't contribute to a safe and respectful environment, then get out.
Beyond sexual assault, the bill provides additional separation authorities as the services reduce their end strength. These authorities will be crucial to the Department's ability to execute the drawdown in a responsible manner, while ensuring that all serving members and their families who also serve are compensated appropriately.
Additionally, this bill continues our oversight responsibility and commitment to prisoners of war and those missing in action. The bill requires the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW and Missing Personnel Affairs to disseminate appropriate information on the status of missing persons to family members. It also requires a report detailing statistical data on the recovery of remains of missing servicemembers from various conflicts. The bill before us continues to recognize the sacrifices of those who serve our Nation in uniform.
During a time when thousands of Americans still remain in combat, we in Congress have an obligation to ensure that these men and women, and their families, are supported, and provide them the resources they need to carry out the mission.
I urge all my colleagues to support this bill.
Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Wilson), my friend and colleague, chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee.