Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) praised the enactment of H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.  The President signed the bill into law today. 

 “This is a great day for our troops, their families, and our nation. In spite of the delay caused by the President’s unexpected veto, it is gratifying to see this defense bill finally signed into law,” said Skelton.

 “I am very proud of this legislation, which may be the best defense bill in decades.  This new law 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.  The law 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 law also increases accountability to the American people through additional oversight of our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, reforms to the contracting process, and a review of the military services’ roles and missions,” said Skelton.

 “One of the hallmarks of the House Armed Services Committee is our longstanding tradition of working together to do our very best for our men and women in uniform and for the national security of this great nation.  This defense bill was truly a bipartisan effort, which was reflected by the broad support the bill repeatedly received from both sides of the aisle.  With the enactment of this bill behind us, I look forward to building upon these accomplishments as we work on next year’s defense bill,” said Skelton.

 The full text and background information on H.R. 4986 is available at http://armedservices.house.gov/ .