Congressman Tim Ryan Votes in Favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Nov 14, 2017

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement today after voting in favor of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“While this legislation was far from perfect, I was proud to vote in favor of the 2018 NDAA today. This bipartisan bill ensures that American men and women in uniform are provided with the tools they need and the benefits and support they deserve – including a much needed 2.4% pay increase for military personnel, which is above the President’s requested 2.1% figure, extends special pay and bonuses for servicemembers, and provides support to reduce military spouse unemployment and underemployment. It also continues to increase our military readiness and create more jobs for Americans. We must have a military that is prepared for the threats and challenges our nation faces around the world, and it is the responsibility of Congress to give them every opportunity to succeed,” said Congressman Ryan.

The bill included many provisions that Congressman Ryan was supportive of,  including measures to strengthen deterrence and boost unity against Russia’s campaign to undermine our democracy and democracies worldwide. There were  also necessary measures within the legislation to address military readiness gaps, and to require further strategies from President Trump and the Department of Defense on Russia, Syria, Afghanistan, and other hot spots around the world. Importantly, language was also written in to acknowledge and to plan for the real threat that climate change poses to national security, something that has been brought up at the very highest levels of our armed forces.

Additional details about FY2018 NDAA:

Supports our Servicemembers

  • 2.4% pay raise for all members of the Armed Forces – the largest pay raise for our armed forces in eight years
  • Reauthorizes over 30 types of bonuses and special pays to encourage retention and enlistment
  • Increases military end strength by 20,300 personnel including 9,500 personnel beyond the President’s request
  • Clarifies DoD authority to prosecute criminals who share sexually explicit or graphic photos recorded without the consent of the person in the photo by creating a specific provision in the Uniform Code of Military Justice for these disgusting offenses
  • Expands the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program for active duty, reservists, and delayed entry members

Supports our Military Families

  • Authorizes $1M for a pilot program to offer telework facilities on military installations outside the United States to assist with military spouse employment
  • Allows for reimbursement of credentialing fees for military spouses
  • Cares for our Gold Star families by permanently extending the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance (SSIA) under the Survivor Benefit Plan and provides for annual inflation adjustments

Supports National Needs

  • Authorizes $33.7B in Health Programs
  • Provisions to increase audit readiness, financial transparency and fiscal responsibility in the DoD
  • Authorizes $4.6B needed for the European Defense Initiative with NATO allies to enhance defense in Europe.  Ohio National Guard has been doing incredible work for this national and international security imperative.
  • Requires the President develop a national policy for the United States related to cyberspace, cybersecurity and cyberwarfare to deter and respond to attacks on US interests
  • Requires the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense jointly develop a comprehensive strategy to counter threats by the Russian Federation
  • Purchases a total of 20 C-130s in three different variants
  • Authorizes $12.3B for Missile Defense Agency work to support national and international security, including expanding the capacity for ground-based interceptors with authorization for up to 28 additional Ground-Based Interceptors and requires a plan expand to a strategically relevant stockpile of these important missiles.

Proud of Ohio’s important role in National Defense

  • Supports the Aviation Hall of Fame being located in Ohio
  • $2.2B for Army ground combat vehicles including $1.1B for M1 Abrams tanks made in Ohio and $622M for Stryker armored combat vehicles
  • $4.4B for Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers, $5.9B for Virginia-class Submarines and $842M for Columbia-class Submarines, the replacement for the aging Ohio Class fleet, which are supported by the hard working Ohioans at BWXT and by businesses throughout Ohio
  • Provides $8M in funding to construct a Small Arms Range for the Air Force at Ohio’s Rickenbacker International Airport and $15M in funding for the Ohio National Guard’s Toledo Express Airport

Concerns:

  • Acquisition reform advertised as “Slimming the Acquisition Code” must be balanced with national security needs and regulations to protect our environment and our American businesses. 
  • Continues to prohibit funding needed to close the base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer the individuals who are detained at that facility.