Why I voted Yes on H.R. 5856
July 19, 2012
I voted Yes for H.R. 5856, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013
This annual legislative vehicle continues to maintain Congress's important constitutional responsibility to "provide for the common defense" and ensures that our military personnel remain properly funded to complete their missions. This bill prohibits a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round from taking place in 2013, and provides our 1,401,560 active-duty troops and 843,000 Reserve members and their families with the support and funding that they deserve from a grateful nation.
This bill provides for a 1.7 percent pay raise for our military personnel who have put their nation before themselves and serve every day to defend the United States and the freedoms that we stand for. H.R. 5856 also ensures that our nation's defense programs remain properly funded by providing $3.1 billion above the President's budget. Recognizing the progress made by Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the need to continue our strategic drawdown of forces, this bill decreases current funding for Overseas Contingency Operations by $26.6 billion, or 23 percent. In addition, amendments were adopted with my support that increase funding for programs such as cancer research, brain injury research and treatments, and suicide prevention without raising overall spending levels. I will continue to defend our service departments, our national security, and most importantly our men and women in uniform.
This bill passed by a vote of 326 – 90.