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WASHINGTON- Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee today released his version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. This is the fifty-first annual defense authorization bill and provides valuable funding for the Armed Forces, while proposing significant savings that do not compromise the needs of our nation’s warfighters.   

In releasing this legislative text and other materials two days before it is considered by the Armed Services Committee; Chairman McKeon is leading the most transparent process in Congress for considering national security legislation. The full text of the legislative language, plus section-by-section descriptions and Directive Report Language can be found here: FY13 Full Committee Mark (PDF) or here (online). The Committee markup, scheduled for Wednesday, May 9th, at 10:00 AM ET will be streamed on the Committee website.  

"I am proud of the bi-partisan way the Committee has worked together to build this bill," McKeon said.  "It rebuilds a force strained by ten years of war while restoring both fiscal and strategic sanity to the defense budget.  It keeps faith with our troops and their families while keeping America ready to face the threats of the future" 

Recognizing that nearly half of discretionary cuts aimed at deficit reduction so far have come from the military, which makes up only 20% of the federal budget; The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, achieves Chairman McKeon’s goals by funding $554 billion for National Defense and $88 billion for Overseas Contingency Operation Funds. The FY13 NDAA also: 

  • Improves the way the Pentagon does business, maximizing support for our warfighters and minimizing waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer money.
  • Invests in the capacity and end strength needed to keep our force strong and prepared;
  • Ensures that even in an era of declining resources, our military can sustain the combat power needed to defend vital national interests and maintain America's leadership role in the face of rising threats. 

Chairman McKeon addresses the following in his “mark” of the annual defense authorization bill:
 
Bolsters Critical Defense Capabilities to Preserve Military Readiness

  • Provides funds to modernize 3 guided missiles cruisers scheduled to be retired before the end of their service life.
  • Preserves tactical airlift critical to the United States ability to project power, such as C-130 Hercules and C-27J Spartan aircraft proposed for early retirement.
  • Eases strain on heavily stressed military by slowing the pace of the Administration’s end-strength reductions.

Preserves Sacred Agreements with All-Volunteer Military

  • Prevents Obama Administration from increasing Tri-Care fees or establishing new fees.
  • Establishes for the first time in law pharmacy co-payment amounts and caps any future increases in pharmacy co-payments to the percent cost of living increase in retirement pay.
  • Continues the Chairman’s commitment to preventing sexual assault in the military, by providing the Defense Department with additional recourses.

Supports the War in Afghanistan and Efforts to Combat the Threat of International Terrorism

  • Requires the President to notify Congress of any planned force reductions in Afghanistan, and justify those reductions based on conditions on the ground.
  • Prohibits use of private security contractors for force protection of US troops in Afghanistan.
  • Reinforces two important principles - that our military has the authority to detain terrorists and that every American must have his day in court. Reaffirms the fundamental right to Habeas Corpus of any person detained in the United States pursuant to the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
  • Extends the prohibition on the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

Solidifies the Defense Department’s Relationship with the Industrial Base,  Enhancing Competition and Spurring Innovation

  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on areas of risk within the defense industrial base, potential single points of failure, and overreliance on foreign sourcing.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a national security strategy for the defense industrial base, clarifying that the base is must be capable of supplying, equipping, and supporting required force structure.
  • Establishes new goals for procurement contracts awarded to small business concerns.

Aligns Military Posture In A Dangerous World

  • Reinforces the United States’ commitment to use all elements of national power to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and enhances the credibility of the military option, should it prove necessary.
  • Includes resourcing in critical areas such as intelligence, surveillance, and combat power to increase the military deterrent against the regime.
  • Increases funding above the President’s request for ballistic missile defense of the homeland and;
  • Requires an environmental impact study for a third U.S. missile defense site, potentially on the east coast.