Today Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) voted in support of H.R. 4870, a bill to fund the Department of Defense for fiscal year 2015. The bill, which passed 340-73, reflects the need to responsibly rein in federal spending without adversely affecting America's troops and mission -- it funds America's Defense above the President's requested level but respects recent non-war spending caps.
"As a veteran, I personally understand the importance of adequate Defense funding so that our servicemen and women are able to do their duties effectively and efficiently," said Hall. "A confident, capable, and modern Defense is particularly important as we witness growing political unrest abroad. That is why I am proud to stand in support of today's strong American Defense bill."
Hall continued, "4th District constituents will be pleased to know that this bill expressly prohibits the use of funds to transfer prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and that no funds can be used in violation of current-law notification requirements to Congress regarding transfers of Guantanamo detainees. In this vein, I also voted in support of an amendment prohibiting the use of funds for the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen. "
"In addition to prohibiting the use of funds for the transfer of detainees, today's Defense bill also bars the use of funds for the National Security Agency (NSA) to target U.S. citizens under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."
"I am also pleased that Texarkana's Red River Army Depot is in position to directly benefit from today's Defense bill. Red River is a supplier for BAE Systems -- one of the leading competitors currently participating in the Army's competitive procurement for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPVs). I have been actively working with Red River and BAE, and in May I sent a letter requesting that Defense Appropriations respect the agreed-upon funding and solicitation process for the AMPV bid. H.R. 4870 honors my request.
"A strong National Defense is vital to ensuring the safety of all Americans. I am grateful for the brave efforts of our 1,308,600 active-duty troops and 820,800 Guard and reserve troops, and I will continue to support their efforts at home and overseas."
Specifically, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act would:
Ensure that troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world have the necessary equipment, resources, and training to successfully complete their missions and return home;
Address readiness shortfalls by restoring the President's proposed, unrealistic reductions to facility sustainment and modernization;
Maintain the annual pay increase of 1.8% for troops;
Provide for the health and well-being of our troops, their families, and retirees;
Improve health and research programs including traumatic brain injury and
psychological health research, suicide prevention and outreach programs, and sexual assault prevention and response programs;
Protect America's closest ally, Israel, through cooperative anti-missile programs including the successful "Iron Dome" system; and
Boost Defense technology in order to better combat terrorism and cyber warfare.