HASC Member John Garamendi Votes to Advance FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act
Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of H.R.2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. This annual bill provides the authority and direction for the United States armed forces. It passed by a bipartisan 344-81 vote.
“I appreciate the efforts of Chairman Mac Thornberry and Ranking Member Adam Smith to prepare a bill that ensures our men and women in uniform have the means to protect our nation and advance American interests around the world. It provides funding for important capabilities and gives our servicemembers a well-deserved pay raise. I appreciate that this bill requires the Administration deliver assessments of our national security interests in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia and detailed strategies to advance those interests.
I also am very pleased that the bill addresses important 3rd District priorities. It includes authorization for more than $122 million in military construction funding for Travis Air Force Base to prepare for the recently announced arrival of the KC-46 mission. It also includes significant funding for the U-2 Dragon Lady and the RQ-4 Global Hawk flown at Beale Air Force Base and prevents their retirement until at least 2024. The bill also includes a variety of provisions I proposed, such as improved domestic sourcing requirements for auxiliary vessels, restrictions on using foreign vessels in the Ready Reserve Force, and new reporting on America’s ballistic missile force. However, there are aspects of this bill which I do not support, and I will be working hard to address these concerns in my future work on this committee.”
Most importantly, this bill and the lack of an overall budget to guide it demonstrate Congress’s continued refusal to make the difficult choices necessary to fund our national defense in a responsible manner. This year’s authorization continues our reckless march to spend over $1 trillion over the next few decades to maintain a nuclear arsenal that far exceeds our deterrence needs. I am also concerned that key amendments to require a comprehensive strategy to protect the security of the United States and our allies against Russian agitation and interference were not adopted. It is disappointing that the House of Representatives did not step up to the plate to require this threat to be taken seriously.”