Wittman Votes in Favor of Dept. of Defense Appropriations Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) voted in favor of H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act:
“It is critical that Congress pass the defense funding bill before the end of the fiscal year, and today the House took the first step towards getting that done. The world is an increasingly dangerous place and, having assessed those threats, we must now provide the funding necessary to ensure we can defeat our adversaries and keep America safe. This defense funding bill will rebuild our military readiness and our Navy's Fleet. Appropriately, the bill funds the pay raise our troops deserve, supporting the men and women in uniform tasked with meeting the security challenges we face. We must complete consideration of this bill before September 30, 2018 to avoid another harmful continuing resolution (CR). I have constantly heard from top military leaders that CRs not only waste money, but are a broken promise and one more chip away at our service members’ ability to survive.
“Our readiness crisis, due to a lack of funds, has had a human cost. In 2017, we had 80 military casualties during peace time training and operations versus 21 in combat operations. This is, in part, a direct result of the lack of resources available for training, maintenance, modernization, and other essential readiness programs. This is unacceptable. We are finally getting our readiness back on track and providing our service members with the resources they desperately need. We cannot afford to stop now – we must continue to provide reliable funding to support those who are putting their lives on the line for our freedom.
“The Department of Defense Appropriations Act also included a very important amendment that I sponsored. Amendment 26 supports the cost-effective funding for CVN 80 and 81, the Navy’s third and fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier. A dual procurement allows the U.S. Navy to build to a Fleet of 12 aircraft carriers more quickly as prescribed by the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act – which established that the Navy should comprise 355 ships, including 12 aircraft carriers. A dual buy would be beneficial to both the taxpayers and to our maritime industrial base as it shows that Congress is committed to the thousands of workers who build and maintain aircraft carriers every day.
“H.R. 6157, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, maintains our commitment to support our warfighters and I was proud to vote in favor of it today. I urge my Senate colleagues to work swiftly and look forward to the considering of the conference report.”
Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.