Rep. Austin Scott Votes for Full FY18 Defense Appropriations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), today voted in favor of H.R. 695, the Fiscal Year 2018 Department of Defense Appropriations Act, to provide for our troops and bolster our national defense. This is the third time the House has passed the FY18 Defense Appropriations Act. After the vote, Rep. Scott released the following statement:
“Earlier this month, the country watched as a minority of lawmakers in the Senate sent our government into a shutdown, cutting off funding to our military and scores of federal employees supporting the Department of Defense. In the midst of all of this, one of the biggest issues in Washington remains: Short-term spending measures create unnecessary chaos and conflict and are a detriment to our government, specifically to our military and national defense,” said Rep. Scott. “The lack of on-time, full year budgets jeopardizes the readiness of our military forces, delays critical modernization efforts, and erodes the trust of industry partners. The military cannot properly organize, train, and equip under constraints of short-term spending measures, nor should we ask them to.”
Rep. Scott continued: “Every day, our men and women in uniform are fighting ISIS. Every day, they are on the DMZ facing North Korea. They are training and maintaining aircraft at Robins Air Force Base and Moody Air Force Base in Georgia’s Eighth District. They are preparing themselves mentally and physically for the fights of today, and what may come tomorrow.”
Rep. Scott continued: “One of the most important duties as a Member of Congress is to provide for our national defense, and among the majority of Republicans and Democrats there is a real understanding that we must do better to adequately fund our military, do better to support our military families, and in some cases do better to increase military spending. While this vote today sends a clear message to our men and women in uniform that we are committed to them, Congress must continue to legislate in the normal fashion, and give our troops the funds they so vitally need to secure our nation.”
Highlights of today’s legislation include:
- A total of $659.2 billion for full year funding for the Department of Defense;
- When added to the $4.7 billion in emergency missile defense and ship repair funds requested by the President in November, which was enacted in Public Law 115-96, total funding for FY18 DOD appropriations totals $664 billion, fully consistent with enacted NDAA.
- Includes $1.2 billion requested by the President for 3,500 additional troops in Afghanistan and funds for urgent needs and special operations forces capabilities;
- Fully funds a 2.4% pay raise for the troops and increases end strength for the Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve troops;
- Restores readiness shortfalls and makes critical investments to ensure our troops have the equipment and training they need to address ongoing threats;
- Funds critical support for our troops to combat terrorists and continue the train and equip programs to defeat ISIS, supports the Afghan Security Forces, and provides necessary funding for the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Fund; and
- Includes $705 million for Israeli missile defense, continues security assistance for Jordan, and provides additional support for our allies to deter against Russian aggression.
The House passed nearly identical legislation last year on July 27, 2017 (H.R. 3219) and September 14, 2017 (H.R. 3354).