(Greg Lemon) – WASHINGTON – Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today issued the following statement on the President vetoing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.
The NDAA is the primary mechanism through which Congress “provides for the common defense” and authorizes the budget authority of the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy.
“Now is not the time to put domestic politics ahead of our national defense. We have men and women in uniform serving in every corner of the globe helping us achieve our national defense missions. This bill provides their pay and benefits and gives them the tools they need to keep the United States safe. The NDAA gives the President every defense dollar he asked for and yet he vetoed it to advance his domestic political agenda. That veto sends a signal that the Commander-in-Chief is not committed to the same mission in which our service members and allies are engaged. The world is too dangerous and our enemies too opportunistic to waver for one minute on approving the funding and authorities the NDAA provides. This veto is irresponsible and I will do my part to find the votes in the House to override it.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the NDAA for FY2016 includes “historic” improvements to the military retirement system.
As chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel (MILPERS), Rep. Heck took a leading role in crafting the improvements to our military’s retirement structure contained in the final FY16 NDAA Conference Report. Those improvements establish a new 401(k)-style retirement benefit for service members, providing retirement benefits for those serving less than 20 years for the first time. This improvement ensures our nation provides for those currently in uniform while allowing us to recruit and retain the very best talent available.
In addition, the Conference Report includes key personnel-related provisions such as:
- maintaining the current structure of the commissary system while allowing the Department of Defense the flexibility to explore innovations to improve this valuable benefit.
- directing a joint uniform formulary between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs for medications to treat psychiatric conditions, sleep disorders, and pain management to ensure transitioning veterans continue to receive the best care when they leave military service.
- enhancing protections for sexual assault victims, including expanding access to special victims counsel, protecting victims from retaliation, and improving the military rules of evidence.
- raising pay for our military men and women along with many special pay and bonuses that are critical to maintaining the all-volunteer force.
Congressman Joe Heck represents Nevada’s Third Congressional District in the House of Representatives. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.