Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 5136, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, by a vote of 229 to 186. 


“This year’s defense authorization bill makes record investments in our nation’s military, authorizing a $726 billion budget to further strengthen our national security, provide our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to do their jobs, and take care of our service members and their families.  The bill provides the resources we need to sustain two wars today and be prepared for the wars of tomorrow – whenever and wherever they may be.


“This defense bill makes counterterrorism a priority, improving the ability of our military to protect themselves at home and abroad and providing them with the additional tools they need to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies.  The bill increases funding to restore military readiness that has been strained by two wars, and also demonstrates our commitment to service members and their families by providing a pay raise and other benefits recognizing the personal sacrifices they make to keep our country safe and secure. 


“This is an excellent bill and I want to thank the members of the House and particularly the members of the House Armed Services Committee for their efforts to make this the best bill possible for America’s national defense.  Next, we await the Senate’s action on the defense authorization bill and look forward to sending a first-rate defense bill to the President for his signature.”