Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives approved the conference report to H.R. 1585, the Fiscal Year 2008 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 370 to 49.

    “I want to thank my colleagues for approving this important defense bill which does so much to support the troops and their families, improve military readiness, and enhance oversight of the Department of Defense. 

    “This bill provides a 3.5 percent military pay raise, prevents fee increases for health care, and includes the Wounded Warrior Act to ensure that our injured forces receive the best care we can provide.  This legislation also authorizes critical funds to restore readiness and protect our forces in the field, making sure that our service members have the equipment and training they need to meet current and future threats.  The bill also increases accountability to the American people through additional oversight of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and reforms to the contracting process.      

    “This is an outstanding bill, and I commend the members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and our talented staff members for continuing our tradition of working together on a bipartisan basis in the interest of U.S. national security and for the benefit of our men and women in uniform.  We can all be proud of this bill and I encourage the President to sign this bill into law at the earliest opportunity.”

   A detailed summary of the conference report to H.R. 1585 is available at http://armedservices.house.gov/