Wicker Applauds House Passage of Defense Bill

Critical Military Legislation Likely to See Senate Action Next Week

December 4, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA) by a vote of 300-119:

“For the past 52 years, NDAA has served as a blueprint for America’s defense and national security interests, ensuring that our troops have the resources they need to fulfill their mission. Support for this legislation has had a longstanding history of broad bipartisan consensus, which the House demonstrated quite clearly today.

“As ranking member on the Airland Subcommittee, I am particularly pleased that NDAA protects the Mississippi National Guard and helps to ensure the vitality of the state’s aerospace manufacturing industry. It also contains critical funding essential to the next generation of shipbuilding on the Gulf Coast. I am optimistic that the Senate will pass this bill next week and send it on to the President for his signature.”

Key provisions championed by Wicker in NDAA include:

  • Authorization of $800 million for the construction of a 12th LPD-17 amphibious warship;
  • Prohibition of the transfer of C-130Js at Keesler Air Force Base until 60 days after financial reports are submitted to Congress;
  • Protecting Mississippi’s 155th Heavy Brigade Combat Team by delaying for one year an Obama Administration proposal to reduce Army personnel while an independent commission assesses the Army’s needs;
  • Authorization of $416 million for the construction of 55 new light-utility helicopters;
  • Prohibition of the relocation of National Guard Apaches, including those in Tupelo, to the Army in FY2015;
  • Requiring annual mental health assessments for all servicemembers to help prevent military suicides;
  • Elimination of the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) monopoly as the sole green building standard for DOD residential construction; and
  • Requiring the Department of Defense to issue new comprehensive guidelines on religious freedom.