Alexander: Democrats Block Bill That Would Have Raised Pay For Tennessee Service Members and Provide $900 Million for National Guard and Reserve Equipment

Says defense funding bill would have strengthened national security, helped protect troops

Posted on July 8, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said Democrats are obstructing debate on a funding bill that would help to better protect the nation, support our troops and properly equip National Guard and Reserve forces.

“Democrats have no reason to block debate on this legislation. This appropriations bill would provide a total of $574.5 billion for our national defense, and includes pay raises for our men and women in uniform, such as those serving at Fort Campbell and Naval Support Activity Mid-South. This legislation would also provide $900 million to help the members of the National Guard and Reserve get the equipment they need to carry out their missions,” Alexander said. “This legislation would help keep our country and our troops safe in a way that’s consistent with the spending limits Congress set in the Budget Control Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Democrats should stop their obstructionist tactics and allow the Senate to do our job and begin debate on this legislation on the Senate floor.”

The House of Representatives passed its version of the Defense Appropriations Bill on June 16 by a vote of 282-138.

The Senate version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill would provide funding for the following priorities that are important to Tennessee and to the nation:

  • The bill funds a 1.6 percent pay raise for military personnel, including those stationed at Fort Campbell and Naval Support Activity Mid-South and provides funding to support 1,281,900 active duty troops and 801,200 reserve troops.
  • $900 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, which helps the Guard and Reserve pay for new equipment and maintain and modernize existing equipment.
  • $25 million more than the president requested to continue the Special Victims Counsel Program to provide legal assistance and support to victims of sexual assault in the military.