Press Release

Blackburn Votes to Provide Critical Funding for our Troops

Fort Campbell Funds Included, Gitmo Transfers Prohibited

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Washington, May 19, 2016 | Stefanie Wheeler (202-768-5721) | comments
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today applauded House passage of H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, legislation that provides critical resources to the Fort Campbell community and our nation’s military. 
“At the same time our nation faces unprecedented threats, the men and women who protect it are facing unprecedented cuts in training and equipment. It is dangerously irresponsible to continue down the President’s path of forcing our military to do more with fewer resources. This year’s NDAA authorizes essential funds for our troops to train for strength, agility and readiness,” Blackburn said.
The NDAA fully funds over $2.5 billion in unfunded training and maintenance, including a provision secured by Congressman Blackburn that authorizes funding for the “Army and Air Force flying hours program,” to provide training and flight hours at 100% levels for military aviators. 

“For aviation units like the 101st Airborne, this training is not only vital to mission success, but to the safety of our soldiers. Without the necessary funding, home station training opportunities would not be available to achieve optimal combat readiness,” Blackburn said. 

In addition to providing the funding needed for equipment, maintenance and facilities, this bill will provide for service members and their families by:
• Giving our troops a much-deserved pay raise while blocking the President’s ability to reduce troop pay. 
• Simplifying TRICARE, expanding access to urgent care and Military Treatment Facilities, and ensuring retirees can purchase durable medical equipment at the DOD cost. 
• Halting and reversing the drawdown of military end strength, preserving the active duty Army at 480,000 and adding 4,000 Airmen and 3,000 Marines in FY2017. 
“As discord continues to grow around the world, the United States must have the personnel and capabilities to respond and protect our national interests. Soldiers from Ft. Campbell are always tasked with responding to threats to our security around the globe. We would be putting their lives in increased danger by reducing their numerical strength and not providing them with the training they need. That is why this legislation is so critically important,” Blackburn said. 
Additionally, the NDAA continues to prevent the government from transferring Gitmo detainees to American soil and building or modifying facilities in the United States for housing detainees
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