From U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling
This week, the House passed H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014.
Congress has a constitutional duty to ‘provide for the common defense’ in order to safeguard our homeland and the freedoms we cherish. The United States has an exceptional responsibility to stand strong and ready in a world where freedom’s enemies do not rest and threats to our security do not relent. This critical legislation:
- Gives our defense forces the support they need to carry out their mission: Fully equips our troops, strongly supports military families, and thoroughly prepares our fighting forces for the challenges that await us in the 21st century.
- Takes care of our military personnel and retirees: Maintains current law mandating a 1.8% annual troop pay increase. Prevents a number of administration proposals for new TRICARE fees and fees increases, while maintaining reforms that put the program on a sustainable path and providing retired beneficiaries an opportunity to remain in TRICARE Prime.
- Honors victims of Ft. Hood tragedy: Honors the service and sacrifice of those wounded or killed in the attack at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009 by awarding them the Purple Heart medal and grants those killed in the attack combat casualty status, ensuring their surviving relatives receive the benefits their loved one’s sacrifice secured.
- Combats sexual assault in the military: Provides for specially trained victims’ counsels to provide legal services to victims of sexual assault, strengthens whistleblower protections, and alters the Uniform Code of Military Justice to enhance prosecution of offenders.
To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson: the price of liberty, and security, is eternal vigilance. This legislation recognizes that truth and the full reality of the world’s dangers by ensuring history’s mightiest military is equipped to face them, and I was proud to support it.”