Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer released the following statement following the passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill passed by Congress every year to authorize funding levels for the military and our men and women in uniform:

“During the course of the past decade, our military has just been getting by – facing yearly cuts in funding harming our ability to train and provide the equipment necessary for our troops to complete their missions in a safe and efficient manner while also making it that much more difficult to keep up and counter the emerging threats to our homeland.  As a result, we have had a serious readiness crisis that has resulted in four times as many deaths due to training accidents as compared to those killed in combat.  This is unacceptable.  Thankfully, that reality began to change last year with a National Defense Authorization (NDAA) Bill that authorized significant increases in funding for our men and women in uniform.  However, it is going to take some time to dig out of this hole and this year’s NDAA bill makes even more progress in doing just that."

The FY19 NDAA:

  • Authorizes $717 billion in defense spending to support out troops and help close the readiness gap;
    • $18.6 billion to begin to rehabilitate and replace worn out Army equipment
    • $39.5 billion to begin to overcome the crisis in military aviation
    • $23.3 billion to sustain, repair and rebuild crumbling military buildings and other infrastructure
    • $21.8 billion for equipment maintenance and $3.7 billion in spare parts
  • Provides a 2.6% raise for our troops – the highest pay increase in 9 years;
  • Increases the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard;
  • Makes critical investment in missile defense and our nuclear deterrent;
  • Makes key investments in other critical military capabilities to confront aggression and address threats around the world, including threats from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran;
  • Authorizes funding for co-development and co-production of missile defense and weapons systems with our key ally, Israel; and,
  • Includes Congressman Rouzer's language to provide greater flexibility to terminally ill veterans, in the form of a waiver, wishing to change their Survivor Benefits Plan.  This language was a result of a veteran, battling Parkinson’s disease, contacting one of Rouzer’s District offices in an attempt to modify the beneficiary for his plan.