Schilling Statement on House Passage of NDAA Print
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Brian Smith   
Friday, 21 December 2012 15:53
Thursday night, the House passed the H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Report, by a bipartisan vote of 315-107.  The final bill included a number of provisions Congressman Bobby Schilling worked hard to include in this year’s NDAA.  

Schilling is the only Illinois member of Congress on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC).  During his term he has fought for common-sense policies that promote public-private partnerships, create jobs and provide care and support to our warfighters and their families.

The NDAA authorizes $640.7 billion in funding for defense and national security priorities, provides a 1.7% pay increase to military personnel, and prevents Guantanamo Detainees from being moved to U.S. soil.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, this legislation would reduce the deficit by $52 billion over the next 10 years.

In May, with the support of Congressman Schilling, the House approved H.R. 4310.  The final bill approved yesterday includes a number of House provisions Schilling worked to include:

Language authored with Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02), also a member of HASC, to ensure the Department of Defense (DOD) recognizes the critical manufacturing work done at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal (RIA)  in our overarching national security strategy, and reviews how to maintain those skills and therefore the people who do the work.  Schilling and Loebsack built on their historic, bipartisan work to strengthen the arsenal in last year’s NDAA.

Language in Section 735 authored with Congressman Steve Stivers (OH-15) to better shape the policies and practices of TRICARE to efficiently and effectively account for the specific health care needs of children.  TRICARE is the military health care system covering 9.6 million, including military retirees, the children and families of active duty soldiers, and National Guard and Reservists.  As the program’s reimbursement structure is based on Medicare, TRICARE often adopts policies and practices from Medicare that do not account for pediatric health care delivery and settings.  This Schilling and Stivers language will convene a working group to review and make recommendations for improving TRICARE policies and practices to account for children’s needs, and work jointly with specialty providers of children’s health care.

Language in Section 587 authored with Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) to encourage cooperation between the DOD and universities to uncover the remains of American troops who died in action overseas. This bipartisan provision will help provide closure for families with lost loved ones, and will honor those who gave so much for our country.  Universities such as the University of Illinois are already working to reduce the backlog of cases that have been reported but not investigated or for which remains have been located but not recovered, but there is bureaucratic red tape that complicates coordinating efforts with the DOD.  This provision will help DOD be more cost effective and increase the speed at which we can bring our warfighters home from more friendly countries, allowing the DOD to focus on its recovery efforts in more dangerous areas of the world.

Language in Section 1641 authored with Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), who serves with Schilling on the Small Business Committee, to reform small business contracting and make it easier for small contractors wishing to do business with the federal government.  Small businesses have proven that they can perform a service or produce goods for the government at a lower cost and often at a faster pace than their larger counterparts, but many challenges remain for businesspeople seeking to break through the bureaucracy.  This bipartisan provision allows the Small Business Administration to oversee civilian mentor-protégé programs (programs intended to partner small businesses with established mentors to improve the small business’ ability to win contracts and subcontracts), facilitating inter-agency agreements, guaranteeing that programs benefit small businesses, and encouraging equal treatment among all small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities. 

The legislation includes a number of broader provisions as well, including:  

Provisions providing for the warfighter and military families: The NDAA seeks to provide our warfighters and their families with the care and support they need, deserve, and have earned.  It ensures that our military is robust, flexible, and capable.  The NDAA rejects Administration proposals to increase some TRICARE fees and establish new TRICARE fees; authorizes a 1.7 percent pay increase; and extends bonuses and special pay for our servicemen and women.  It also reflects a bipartisan effort actively supported by Schilling to provide new regulations and procedures to combat and prosecute sexual assault within the military.

Provisions to maintain and rebuild our military: The NDAA does not authorize additional rounds of Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) in either FY2013 or FY2015, as had been called for by the Department of Defense.  Schilling strongly opposed efforts to authorize a BRAC.  The bill includes and restores vital systems, platforms, and authorities to maintain America’s combat power after a decade of war.

Provisions pertaining to detainees: The FY2012 NDAA reaffirmed U.S. authority to pursue terrorists who are part of or substantially support al Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces.  The FY2013 NDAA, though the incorporation of the Right to Habeas Corpus Act, makes clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that every American will have his day in court.  It also prohibits the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.

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