Conference Report on S. 2943, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 2, 2016
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HECK of Nevada. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the conference report to S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017.

This conference report contains significant policy and funding priorities to continue our commitment to maintaining the readiness of our military personnel and their families.

Included in this conference report are many important initiatives:

Specifically, it provides a fully funded pay raise. This is the largest pay raise for our military in the last 5 years and the first full pay raise in 4 years. After 3 years of lower pay raises than allowed by law, it is time that we give our troops and their families the pay increase they deserve.

It stops the troop reductions in our Armed Forces, thereby increasing readiness, while reducing the stress and strain on our force and their families.

It reforms the military health system to ensure that we have a ready medical force and a medically ready force, while providing a quality healthcare benefit valued by its beneficiaries.

It modernizes the Uniform Code of Military Justice to improve the system's efficiency and transparency, while also enhancing victims' rights.

It reforms the commissary system in a way that preserves this valuable benefit, while also improving it so that the system remains an excellent value for the shoppers and a good value for taxpayer dollars.

In conclusion, I want to thank the ranking member, the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis), for her contributions and support in this process. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure to work with her.

I also want to thank the subcommittee members and offer my sincere appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the subcommittee staff.

Lastly, I want to thank the chairman, the gentleman from Texas (Mr. Thornberry), for his support and for entrusting me with the great privilege and honor of chairing this subcommittee.

I strongly urge my colleagues to support the conference report to S. 2943.