Daines Votes for Montana Defense Priorities, Little Shell Recognition in Defense Bill

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today voted for a major defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a 3.1% pay raise for the military, critical defense priorities for Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls and federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Daines fought to include provisions that will preserve and protect Malmstrom’s mission, while safeguarding national security for generations to come.  

“This legislation strengthens Montana’s defense priorities and gives our men and women in uniform a much deserved 3.1% pay raise,” Daines said. “This is about peace through strength. Our nuclear deterrents must be modernized so we are prepared to face the challenges of the 21st century.” 

Montana Defense Wins in the NDAA:

  • 3.1% pay increase for service members
  • Prioritizes nuclear deterrence–
    • $552 million for Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)
    • $27 million for nuclear weapon modernization
  • Rolls back the widow’s tax that limits the amount of benefits a gold star family can get
  • Extends reimbursement for spouse license and certification costs by two years
  • Aligns the modernization of the W87-1 warhead with the development schedule for the GBSD
  • Expresses the sense of the Senate on support for a robust and modern ICBM force to maximize value of the nuclear triad
  • $46 million for CH-47 advanced procurement
  • $1.397 million for UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter procurement
  • $5.566 million for F-35 procurement
  • $55 million for C-130 8 bladed propeller upgrade
  • $170 million for the UH-1N Replacement program
  • $435 million for the Defense Logistics Agency

Daines fought for years to help get federal recognition for the Little Shell Tribe. Earlier this year, Daines successfully fought to include federal recognition of the Tribe as an amendment in the Senate passed NDAA. Earlier this month Daines announced he successfully preserved Little Shell recognition in the final NDAA.

“Today is a historic day for the Little Shell Tribe and the State of Montana,” Daines said. “For far too long, Congress kicked the can down the road and failed to federally recognize Little Shell. That’s why I made it my top priority to help get federal recognition across the finish line. I look forward to President Trump signing this huge victory for the Little Shell Tribe into law!”

Daines’ Little Shell Efforts:

  • In early December, Daines successfully preserved big wins for Montana in the final NDAA including the federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and critical defense priorities for Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls.
  • In early September, Daines wrote a letter calling on the leaders of the Armed Services Committees to retain a provision in the final version of the NDAA.
  • In late June, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the NDAA which included an amendment proposed by Daines that secured federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe.
  • In early June, Daines successful included the Little Shell recognition into the must pass NDAA bill
  • In late January, Daines voted to advance the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act out of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
  • In early January, Daines and Tester reintroduced the bipartisan legislation to grant the Little Shell Tribe federal recognition.