Washington, DC --  Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50) today voted in favor of the conference report for H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, when it passed the House by a bipartisan margin of 356-70.  This legislation provides the authorization for critical military programs and resources.

“After years of neglect, my approach to defense funding is simple: Ensure the warfighter has what the warfighter needs,” said Congressman Hunter, a member of the House Armed Service Committee and Chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.  “Today we have too many planes that cannot fly, too many ships that cannot sail, and too many soldiers who cannot deploy.  All while too many threats are gathering.  This bill invests in those who actually carry out the responsibilities we ask without the political games or empty rhetoric.”

Specifically, H.R. 2810 authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) regarding military activities, construction and personnel.  The $699.6 billion bill represents a $26.4 billion increase above the President’s initial budget request and authorizes an additional $65.7 billion to cover contingency operations overseas.  Other important provisions of H.R. 2810 include:

·         Salary increase of 2.4% for service members;

·         Increasing end strength over FY17 levels of 15,700+ active duty personnel over the four services;

·         Enhancing missile defense $4.4B over initial Presidential budget request;

·         Providing $350M to the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to help train, equip, and assist the Ukranian military, National Guard, and security services;

·         Authorization for the first polar icebreaker to begin the recapitalization of the existing U.S. Coast Guard fleet;

·         Ensuring critical naval components are made by American workers and American businesses.

The conference report for H.R. 2810 is now awaiting action by the U.S. Senate before being provided to the White House for signature to become public law.