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Robert W.
Republican VA 1

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  • Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

    by Representative Robert J. Wittman

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    Read More about Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

    WITTMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the National Defense Authorization Act. I would like to thank Chairman McKeon and Ranking Member Smith for their hard work on this, as well as the ranking member of the Readiness Subcommittee, Madeleine Bordallo. This bill addresses the impact of sequestration on our national security and, perhaps most importantly, the most damaging effects on our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, over 51,000 of whom are fighting for us today in Afghanistan.

    Specifically, this bill allocates nearly $3 billion readiness dollars across the components--Active, Guard and Reserve--providing needed funds for critical programs, including the flying hour program, facilities maintenance and sustainment, depot maintenance, and combat support.

    The bill boosts DOD's ability to respond to crises like Benghazi by adding $75 million for the expansion of the Marine Security Guard program at our diplomatic posts around the world.

    It prohibits DOD from initiating another round of BRAC to ensure appropriate focus on the orderly and secure withdrawal from Afghanistan and a well-informed assessment of our Nation's defense strategy moving forward.

    It also provides $11 million for MILCON projects for urgently needed base infrastructure.

    It reauthorizes 1.5 million acres of public land for training range access to ensure our forces have the ability to train the way we expect them to fight.

    And it ensures adequate funding for reset and retrograde from our Nation's longest war in Afghanistan.

    As we vote, we need to be mindful that our highest duty is to ensure the readiness of our force. This starts with our men and women who volunteer to wear the uniform with the right training and equipment to do their missions with the advantage of overwhelming military superiority. We must ensure they never enter a fair fight on our behalf, and that they can complete their missions and come home safe.

    I would like to thank the HASC staff director, the entire HASC staff, especially the readiness staff--Michele Pearce, Ryan Crumpler, Jamie Lynch, Dave Sienicki and Nicholas Rodman--for their diligent and dedicated work to get this bill completed.

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