Walorski Statement on NDAA Passage
Defense Bill Boosts Readiness, Raises Troop Pay, Includes Key Walorski Provisions to Strengthen National Security
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which authorizes defense spending, by a vote of 277 to 147:
“Congress has the solemn duty to the American people and to our brave servicemen and women to provide all of the training and resources our military needs to remain the greatest fighting force in the world. This bill fulfills that responsibility by investing in military readiness, giving troops a pay raise, and ensuring they are fully prepared to defeat any threat or challenge head-on. Bottom line – this bill means our military will outmatch every enemy.
“This NDAA makes critical investments in both the maintenance of existing equipment and the development of modern military platforms to maintain readiness amid growing challenges around the world. Our men and women in uniform will have the tools and training they need in the field, and their families will have the support they need back home, including full funding for the 2.1 percent pay raise our troops are entitled to under the law.
“Terrorist detainees will continue to be prohibited from coming onto U.S. soil, and my amendment strengthens accountability and oversight of the detainee transfer process by requiring written agreements with countries that accept Guantanamo Bay prisoners. With my amendment to bring the National Security Council back under the Freedom of Information Act, this bill will restore transparency and accountability to the White House’s national security decision-making process.
“I am honored to serve on the House Armed Services Committee and work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put our troops and our national security first. I am glad to see our bipartisan efforts continue with today’s passage of the bill, and I now encourage my friends in the Senate to pass it swiftly and urge the President to sign it.”
Highlights of Walorski Provisions Included in NDAA:
Restores Transparency to NSC
The House unanimously adopted an amendment offered by Walorski to restore transparency and accountability to the National Security Council (NSC) by requiring it to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The amendment builds on Chairman Mac Thornberry’s (TX-13) reforms to require Senate confirmation for the National Security Advisor if the NSC staff grows beyond 100 members. Walorski’s amendment would bring NSC back under FOIA once a National Security Advisor is confirmed.
Strengthens Oversight of Gitmo Transfers
The House unanimously adopted an amendment offered by Walorski to require the U.S. government to enter into a written memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the government of a foreign nation before transferring a detainee from Guantanamo Bay to that country. This would provide critical accountability and oversight of transfers of terrorist detainees from Gitmo.
Boosts Electronic Warfare Innovation
The bill includes provisions Walorski authored to help the U.S. keep its competitive edge in the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum domain. Based on legislation she introduced with Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), the provisions would get innovative electronic warfare (EW) technology into the hands of warfighters more quickly so they can effectively defeat existing and emerging threats.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee and House Committee on Agriculture.