U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today applauded the bipartisan agreement for final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“The NDAA provides critical support and security for our servicemembers in uniform to carry out their missions,” Daines stated. “It’s great to see Congress prioritize the needs of our servicemembers, while protecting the important role that Montana holds in our national defense.”
The bill now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
Daines secured the following priorities for Montana:
- Cyber Command: Daines’ amendment to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to a Combatant Command was included in the NDAA. U.S. Cyber Command it is currently a subordinate unit to U.S. Strategic Command.
- Mental Health: Secured language to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less than honorable discharge from the military due to negative behavior resulting from mental traumas such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The amendment has broad support from 10 major veteran groups.
- Nuclear Site Security: Along with U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, Daines secured language that requires the Department of Defense to certify what security shortfalls the UH-1N has created, and identify how it will alleviate those risks until the acquisition process for new helicopters is complete.
- Pay Raise for Troops: Provides a 2.1 percent pay raise for the troops. Breaking the four-year trend of having a pay raise of less than 2% and a three-year trend of having a pay raise below the Employment Cost Index (ECI).
- Modernization of Nuclear Arsenal: Provides critical funds for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, which replaces the Minuteman III missiles, and includes provisions ensuring that the modernization program continues to move forward.
- Dual Status Technicians: Secured a provision delaying the mandate that states 20 percent of Title 32 Dual Status Technicians must be transferred to Title 5 employees. Daines sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in April requesting his provision be included due to the transfer of National Guard employees to federal employee’s being a drastic federal overreach without a plan in place.