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Susan D.
Democrat CA 53

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  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

    by Representative Susan A. Davis

    Posted on 2015-05-13

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    DAVIS of California. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Dr. Heck and the committee staff for working in a bipartisan manner to develop this bill, and I also want to thank Chairman Thornberry and Ranking Member Smith for their leadership during this process.

    The bill takes important steps toward personnel reform by including recommendations from the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission, and I think we all want to thank them for their work.

    A key provision is the modernization of the military retirement system. While maintaining the 20-year defined retirement, a thrift savings plan is added not just for retirees, but for all servicemembers. This will positively impact the 83 percent of the force--I am going to say it again--83 percent of the force that leaves prior to the 20-year mark.

    The NDAA continues the committee's critical work towards the prevention of and response to sexual assault. Several provisions will increase access to better trained special victims counsel, prevent retaliation against servicemembers, and increase awareness and training to better aid male victims of sexual assault.

    Once again, the bill does not contain the Department's request to administer changes to the commissary system, reductions to the housing allowance, or TRICARE reform, but we must address these issues in some way in the future. Reform of the military healthcare system is crucial to ensure that care is elevated to a level befitting our servicemembers, our wounded veterans, retirees, and their families.

    Important issues were addressed in this bill, and I support many of the provisions and all the hard work that went into it. However, national security is borne from many factions, including the education of our people, investment in science and technology, and the support of sustainable resources and infrastructure.

    All of these realms, Mr. Chairman, must be funded adequately and properly in order for our military to remain the most elite force in the world. I am disappointed that this NDAA, although meeting the President's budget number request, does not follow the funding rules we have abided by in the past, thereby placing our national security in jeopardy.

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