Alexander Urges President Obama to Sign “Bipartisan Bill to Support Our Military”

Posted on October 7, 2015

Legislation authorizes pay raises for military, including troops at Ft. Campbell; aims to prevent repeat of Chattanooga shooting by enabling military commanders to arm personnel   

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 –U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted to support the fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act and called on President Obama to sign the bipartisan bill.  

“This bipartisan bill not only gives raises to troops at Ft. Campbell and the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, but it also helps prevent tragic shootings at military facilities such as the one in Chattanooga in July by enabling the military to arm certain personnel on domestic military bases,” Alexander said. “The legislation sets priorities for spending on our nation’s defense at an amount equal to the president’s request and consistent with budget caps. I urge President Obama to sign this bipartisan bill into law to support our military service members who sacrifice so much to protect and defend the United States.”

The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes funding for the Dept. of Defense and several Dept. of Energy national security programs:

  • The bill authorizes a 1.3 percent pay increase for members of the military, including troops at Ft. Campbell and the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, and authorizes more than 30 bonuses and special payments for service men and women.
  • The bill requires the Sec. of Defense to establish and implement a process by which military commanders in the U.S. can authorize certain personnel to carry a firearm. This new process is being adopted in response to the tragic shooting in Chattanooga on July 16, 2015 as well as the 2009 shootings in Little Rock and Ft. Hood.
  • The bill implements a new retirement compensation system that would take effect for service members who join the military after January 1, 2018, and would provide for government matching contributions for service members who contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan.
  • The bill prohibits detainees at Guantanamo Bay from being transferred to the United States.
  • The bill authorizes construction of a new Special Operations Headquarters and classrooms at Ft. Campbell.
  • The bill eliminates $11 billion in excessive and unnecessary spending and reinvests those savings in our military.
  • The bill authorizes funding for our nation’s nuclear stockpile, a replacement strategic missile submarine, defense-related environmental cleanup, and nuclear energy programs at the Dept. of Energy.

Today, the Senate passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act conference report by a vote of 70 to 27. The legislation authorizes $604.2 billion for our military and national defense programs

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