Lucas, Cole Praise Passage of Defense Funding Bill

On Friday, the U.S. House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, H.R. 2810. Congressmen Frank Lucas and Tom Cole praised the legislation which provides nearly $696 billion in defense funding.

“After the previous presidential administration left our military underfunded and stagnant, it is more important now than ever that we strengthen our investment in defense to support the men and women who protect our country and its interests. This year’s defense spending bill builds on President Trump’s commitment to rebuild our military by increasing troop pay by 2.4 percent and boosting the number of active duty personnel in the Army, Navy, and Air Force by over 18,000 troops,” said Lucas.

“In addition to increasing funding for our nation’s missile defense program, this bill also features a number of projects to support new technologies such as the KC-46A tanker. Altus Air Force Base will be tasked with training for these next generation aircraft, which are critical to extending the mobility and reach of our military across the globe,” Lucas added. “The progress we have made to rebuild and modernize our country’s defense will help keep America safe and project a message of strength abroad.”

Cole said the measure is part of Congress’ fundamental responsibilities.

“The final product that the House has crafted demonstrates strong bipartisan policies, and brings forth the framework to build a more robust military with stronger readiness,” said Cole.

“I am pleased that my amendment regarding a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was adopted into the final bill. It directs the President to provide to Congress a strategy and a budgetary analysis needed to defeat Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, no later than 30 days after final passage. The report should also include a request for an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). While our nation has been in a state of war since 2001, the last AUMF was passed in 2003.  Congress owes it to the American people and our men and women deployed for battle, to reaffirm our national commitment to the missions we are sending our soldiers into.”

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