Chairman Rogers Floor Statement of Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill

Jun 14, 2016

Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5293, the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill.

The text of his statement follows:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 5293, the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill.

This legislation provides critical funding to uphold our Defense posture, maintain our military readiness, and protect our nation from those who would seek to do us harm. The world is rapidly changing –we are reminded regularly that we are still a nation at war, and new threats arise daily. It is clear that a strong national defense is of the highest priority.

In total, this bill contains $575.8 billion in base and Overseas Contingency Operations funding for critical national security needs, and the health and well-being of our troops. The use of OCO funds in this bill is in line with the National Defense Authorization Act that the House passed on a bipartisan basis last month.

This funding will provide the resources that our military needs to be successful in the fight right now, and that will improve our readiness for the future.

This includes over $209 billion for operations and maintenance – the programs that help prepare our troops – like flight time and battle training – as well as base operations.

This also includes $120.8 billion for equipment and upgrades – providing the weapons and platforms needed to fight and win in the field. And to improve this equipment, develop and test new technologies, and meet future security threats, the bill contains $70.8 billion for research and development. This will help keep our nation on the cutting edge – ensuring we will remain the most superior military power in the entire world.

This legislation prioritizes a robust, healthy and well-cared-for force. In total, $132.6 billion is provided to support over 1.3 million active duty troops and over 826,000 Guard and reserve troops. This wholly rejects the Administration’s proposed troop reductions by providing an additional $3 billion to maintain our troop strength, and fully funds the authorized 2.1 percent pay raise for the military.

It is also critically important that we adequately fund the quality-of-life programs for our troops and military families. The bill contains $34 billion for Defense Health programs – targeting increases to cancer research, facility upgrades, traumatic brain injury, psychological health research, and sexual assault prevention.

I want to thank Chairman Frelinghuysen for his care and consideration in drafting this bill. He – as well as the entire subcommittee – have put the security of this nation and the welfare of our warfighters above all else. I also want to thank the subcommittee staff for their expert work on this legislation.

This bill fulfills the Congress’s most important responsibility – providing for the common defense. And it does so responsibly – funding those military needs that must be addressed now, planning and preparing for the future, and respecting the taxpayer by making commonsense budgeting decisions.

I urge my colleagues to vote “aye” on this bill – to continue to protect our nation from threats to our freedom, democracy, and way of life.