Sen. Carper’s Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper, ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 91 to three and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill by a vote of 93 to zero.

“Today, I voted to approve an important piece of legislation, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense and the national security programs of the U.S. Department of Energy. The NDAA is critical to equipping and training our troops and keeping our country safe. This year’s bill authorizes some important investments in strengthening our military capabilities, providing needed support to the men and women of the Armed Forces, and enhancing our ability to counter emerging national security threats.

“There are also provisions in this bill that will make important reforms to our military’s compensation and retirement system, enhance our cyber security efforts, put an unequivocal prohibition on the use of torture for intelligence purposes and provide support for our allies around the world. It also includes an important amendment I offered with my friend, Senator Angus King (I-Maine), that will help the U.S. Army expeditiously dispose of unneeded property, which costs taxpayers billions of dollars in unnecessary maintenance costs each year.

“This afternoon, I also voted to approve the fiscal year 2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which provides critical services to our nation’s veterans and makes improvements to our military installations around the world. I’m very pleased it contains funding to construct a hydrant fuel system at Dover Air Force Base, which will help to speed up the refueling process so that our planes can get in the air quicker and cargo can be moved through the base at a faster rate.

“Passing this bill is a direct result of the compromise found by Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress to approve a budget framework that gives us the opportunity to fund our government in a more thoughtful fashion than we have over the past few years. We have ask the American people to send us to Washington on the promise that we will lead and make tough choices for our country, and I’m glad we’re doing a little better at making good on it.”