Annual NDAA Raises Troop Pay, Includes Two Rooney Amendments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) today issued the following statement after voting in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY 2017:
“One of the primary responsibilities of Congress as mandated in the Constitution is to provide for a common defense and by passing this bill, Congress has done its job” Rooney said. “This bill does a number of things, but most importantly, it provides our troops’ an increase in their salaries and provides them with the best equipment and the training they need to stay alive in the field and complete their missions.”
“We also increase funding to maintain troop and readiness levels consistent with the rising threats coming from 21st century, sophisticated adversaries. In short, this bill makes a clear statement to both friends and adversaries of the United States, that we have the means to defend ourselves and it reassures our service members that whatever they are asked to do, they will be prepared and fully supported.”
The following two Rooney Amendments were included in this year’s bill:
- Amendment to restore access to care for children with autism in military families by reversing reductions in TRICARE reimbursement rates for providers of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
- Amendment requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to respond to the findings of a Rooney-initiated Inspector General investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse committed by Afghan security forces by requiring the DOD to explain how it implements the law prohibiting U.S. security assistance to foreign security forces implicated in gross human rights violations.
The FY17 National Defense Authorization Act passed the House and includes the following key provisions:
- Gives troops a raise: The bill fully funds the 2.1% pay raise our troops are entitled to under the law while blocking the President’s ability to reduce troop pay.
- Helps close the readiness gap: The bill corrects funding shortfalls that have impaired readiness and risked our troops’ security by increasing funding by more than $18 billion over the president’s budget request in order to restore necessary troop levels and training hours and to modernize our land and sea-based weapons systems critical to deterring threats to the homeland.
- Keeps terrorists in GITMO: Continues the prohibition preventing President Obama from transferring any Guantanamo Bay detainees to United States soil.
- Improves access to quality healthcare: Protects TRICARE benefits for warfighters, retirees and their families, while enhancing medical readiness and ensuring that the generous benefit our troops deserve and have earned is sustainable for generations to come.
- Protects veterans’ pensions: Excludes reimbursements for medical expenses from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ calculation of annual income when determining pension eligibility for veterans.
- Holds the president accountable on Iran: Requires the President to officially notify Congress whenever Iran conducts a ballistic missile launch (including ballistic missile tests) and inform Congress on the actions the President will take in response, including diplomatic efforts to pursue additional sanctions against Iran.