WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Friday released the following statement after voting for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which passed the House by a vote of 375 to 34:
“Keeping the American people safe means giving our military the tools and resources needed to confront any threat and defeat any enemy. This bill puts our servicemembers first and provides critical support for their success on and off the battlefield.
“The U.S. military is the greatest fighting force in the world because of the brave men and women in uniform. With this bill, our troops will get the support they deserve, including their biggest pay raise in years, health care improvements, and more resources for their families here at home.
“The Obama administration’s misguided drawdown has weakened the military, and this bill will rebuild our forces and close the readiness gap. Investments in maintenance and development of equipment will ensure our military can respond to evolving threats. And my provision to boost electronic warfare innovation will help get new technologies into the field faster so our troops have the best tools at their disposal.
“The terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst, and they don’t belong on U.S. soil. This bill continues existing prohibitions on transferring terrorists to the U.S. or closing Gitmo and adds new safeguards I authored to prevent released detainees from returning to the fight.
“With increasing threats around the world, this bill will strengthen our military and help our next commander-in-chief implement a comprehensive strategy to destroy ISIS. The Senate should pass this critical bill and the president should sign it so we can keep our nation safe and secure.”
The final Conference Report to accompany S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which was negotiated by bipartisan members of the House and Senate, is expected to reach the president’s desk in the coming days. The legislation:
- Includes Walorski provision to improve accountability and oversight of terrorist detainee transfers by requiring U.S. government to enter into written agreement with government of any foreign nation that accepts Gitmo detainee transfer.
- Prohibits transfer of terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil or closure of Gitmo detention facility.
- Includes Walorski legislation to boost electronic warfare (EW) innovation to get electromagnetic (EM) spectrum technology to warfighters more quickly to better confront existing and emerging threats.
- Fully funds 2.1 percent pay raise for troops required by law.
- Provides resources to combat ISIS and support allies to counter Russian aggression.
- Includes Walorski provision to provide children of fallen servicemembers and children of servicemembers struggling with post-traumatic stress the opportunity participate in special camps.
- Invests in personnel, training, maintenance, and procurement to close readiness gap.
- Reforms acquisition policies to develop military tools more effectively and efficiently.
- Improves reporting process to combat military sexual assault and protect victims.
- Protects National Guardsmen and reservists from Pentagon clawing back re-enlistment bonuses paid in error.
- Caps size of National Security Council to restore oversight and limit interference with military decisions in the field.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.