Congressman Jim Bridenstine Contributes to the National Defense Authorization Act
Washington, DC, May 22, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Today, the House passed the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a strong, bipartisan vote of 325 to 98. The U.S. Constitution Article I, Section 8 gives Congress a responsibility to provide for the common defense by authorizing a budget and setting policy for the Department of Defense. HR 4435 authorizes $521 billion for the Department of Defense, $30 billion less than FY14 enacted appropriations for our military. President Obama's budget requests reflect over $1 trillion in defense cuts since he came to office.
As the only member of the House Armed Services Committee from Oklahoma, Congressman Bridenstine submitted over a dozen amendments adopted in committee and on the floor. Those amendments that have direct major impact on Oklahoma include:
1. Curtail Cuts to AWACS Aircraft and Protect the 513th Air Control Group. The Air Force proposed to cut seven Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft based at Tinker Air Force Base and disestablish the 513th Air Control Group, costing Oklahoma over 350 jobs. The Bridenstine amendment authorizes funding for three AWACS and prevents disestablishing the 513th ACG until and unless the Secretary of the Air Force meets a certification requirement. Tinker hosts 27 AWACS and the 513th ACG is the only unit in the Air Force Reserve dedicated to flying and maintaining AWACS.
2. Mandate the Air Force Fund the C-130H Avionics Modernization Program. The Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) modernizes and standardizes cockpits for the aged C-130H fleet flown by the Air National Guard. The Air Force plans to fly C-130Hs through 2040, but the Department has ignored legislation that funds C-130 cockpit modernization. Although Congress authorized and appropriated funding for AMP in FY12-FY14, the Pentagon has refused for three years to obligate the funds. The Bridenstine amendment prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from spending money on her Pentagon staff until the Air Force restarts the AMP program that Congress has demanded for the past three years.
3. Retain Funding for National Guard State Partnership Program. 68 partnerships in 75 countries benefit U.S. strategic interests. Oklahoma's National Guard partners with Azerbaijan to improve their interoperability with U.S. forces. Azerbaijani crude and natural gas production and pipelines are critical to lessening EuropeÍs dependence on Russia. The PresidentÍs FY15 budget requests cutting the State Partnership Program (SPP) by over 50%. The Bridenstine amendment restores FY15 funding to FY14 appropriated levels for the program.
Highlights of the House-passed NDAA:
Other Bridenstine Amendments:
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