Manchin Applauds Senate Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauds the Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, a vital piece of legislation that will provide our military with the means necessary to defend our nation.
“This defense package is truly a bipartisan piece of legislation and provides necessary funding to support our troops, defend our nation and provide support to our West Virginia service members and facilities,” Senator Manchin said. “Maintaining a strong defense must be one of our highest national priorities, and while I am not happy about the price tag of this bill, I support this legislation because it provides critical resources for our military. I am committed to continuing to work to reduce spending in a strategic way that is good for the taxpayer and that will not harm our servicemen and women.”
Senator Manchin is glad that included in FY18 NDAA is a 2.4 percent pay increase for military personnel, a required study by the Department on Defense on opioid-prescribing practices and Audit the Pentagon provisions, which have previously been introduced by Senator Manchin in the 112th, 113th and 114th Congress. The Department of Defense remains the only major federal agency that has not completed a financial audit, yet receives more than half of the discretionary budget funds. These provisions are designed to help the Department meet its obligation to complete an unqualified audit by 2018.
Additionally, Senator Manchin is pleased that this bill provides federal civilian employees in the National Guard eligibility for TRICARE Reserve Select. Extending eligibility to dual-status military technicians was a critical part of S.766, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Manchin this spring, and dual-status technicians will be included in the expansion.
Lastly, Senator Manchin supports the NDAA provisions that prohibit federal agencies from using any software platform developed by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab and cuts all network connections to the lab’s software.
Below is a list of Senator Manchin’s priorities included in the National Defense Authorization Act:
- Pay increase for military personnel
National Guard Specific
- Extends a suicide prevention and resilience program for members of the National Guard and Reserves
- Authorizes Reserve Component service members activated under 12304a or 12304b orders to receive pre-mobilization and transitional TRICARE health care
- Authorizes a review and report on effects of personnel requirements and limitations on the availability of members of the National Guard for the performance of funeral honors duty for veterans
- Requires a DoD study on opioid-prescribing practices
- Federal agencies would be prohibited from using any software platform developed by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab and would have to cut all network connections to the lab’s software
Business Practices (language from our Audit the Pentagon Act last Congress)
- Requires that any individual appointed as the Comptroller, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, or Assistant Secretaries for Financial Management of each of the departments have significant financial management, budget, or audit experience in complex organizations. These requirements will help create an experienced team that will be more effectively able to conduct the first Department-wide audit by the March 31, 2019 deadline.
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