‘Freedom isn’t free’ is more than a patriotic proverb to those who have seen the face of war and dedicated their lives to the protection of our freedoms. For the heroes living among us, this phrase is a regular reminder of the life they’ve chosen to live.
Our military personnel have chosen to push themselves beyond their physical, mental, and emotional limits — and that’s just basic training. They’ve chosen to spend arduous months away from their loved ones in foreign lands. They’ve chosen to learn languages not their own, and face enemies too terrible to describe. Our men and women in uniform risk everything for the ensurement of our freedoms.
BUT — did you know that many enlisted service member’s beginning salary is roughly $9.25 an hour, $11.25 if you include food allowances?
The men and women who keep us safe are our country’s most valuable asset, and we have a responsibility to provide them the resources, care, and pay raise they need, earned, and deserve.
Now, with a new administration in place, House Republicans can finally give the troops the support they deserve. This July, we voted to give our troops their largest pay raise in eight years, as well as begin the work of rebuilding our military. After a half-decade of cuts, we’re tackling the readiness crisis facing our troops and this country.
National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, was passed by the House on July 14, 2017 and then by the Senate on Sept. 18, 2017. This bill authorizes increasing the size of our military to combat the threats we face while also increasing funding for maintenance, training opportunities, and for modernizing facilities, ships, planes, and weapons (among other things).
For 56 years, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been the primary way in which Congress executes its constitutional obligation to “provide for the common defense.” More than that, the NDAA equips, supplies, and trains our troops; cares for them and their families; and sets national security policy in a dangerous world.
The Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA meets all of these commitments and much more. It begins a much-needed rebuilding after a half-decade of cuts slashed nearly a quarter of the defense budget while our military remained in steady combat. These cuts, combined with the pace of operations, had driven military readiness to a level that Defense Secretary Mattis said “shocked” him.
We have already passed a $21 billion increase in defense funding as a down payment on our promise to rebuild our military for the 21st century. We are further authorizing additional resources to counter threats, increase end-strength, and enhance our military’s readiness.
We will not keep piling missions on our service members without ensuring they have all they need to succeed. Repairing and rebuilding our military is key to defending our country, but it’s also the number one way we can care for our troops — men and women who have chosen to protect us.
As they face unimaginable enemies, it is our duty, as Congress, to ensure that they are fully equipped to do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.
Want to see what else the House has passed this year? Check out DidYouKnow.gop