House Armed Services Committee Member U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted today with a bipartisan majority of his colleagues in the House to pass legislation to restore military readiness, strengthen the armed services with needed training and equipment, and increase pay for men and women serving in the military.
As a conferee appointed by House leadership to negotiate an agreement between the House and Senate, Larsen helped craft the final defense authorization bill (H.R. 1585) that passed the House today. The Senate must also pass the agreement before the President can sign it into law. Larsen released the following statement:
“I am pleased that the House and Senate have agreed on a defense authorization bill to strengthen our military readiness, protect our servicemen and women with essential training and equipment, and support their service with a 3.5 % military pay raise.
“The defense authorization bill will help address equipment shortfalls and ensure that military personnel get the resources they need to do their jobs.
“This bill authorizes an additional $17.6 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, which have been shown to dramatically reduce the casualties caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
“Furthermore, this legislation protects military personnel and families from paying higher fees for health care through the TRICARE program, and includes the Wounded Warrior Act to ensure that injured servicemen and women get the best possible care and the help they need to transition to civilian life.
“I urge the President to sign this important bill to strengthen our armed services and support the men and women who serve our country in the military.”