McEachin on Passage of FY2018 NDAA

July 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) voted in favor of H.R. 2810, the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Mr. McEachin supported the compromise legislation on the House floor to ensure that the United States continues to enjoy a strong national defense, and to address unmet defense needs in the Fourth Congressional District and throughout Virginia. The bill also includes measures to strengthen deterrence and to boost unity against Russia’s campaign to undermine democracy worldwide.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, my top priority is to ensure that we provide for a strong national defense and meet the needs of Virginia’s military facilities, personnel, veterans, and families. Those needs were addressed in this year’s national defense authorization bill,” said Congressman Donald McEachin (VA-04). “We also defeated legislative attacks on the rights of brave men and women who selflessly serve our country – purely because of their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, or religion.”

The final House version of the NDAA reflects Mr. McEachin’s efforts, in partnership with other members, to address specific needs and challenges of the Fourth Congressional District – including a reporting requirement on the threat of sea level rise; swifter, more fiscally responsible progress towards a larger Navy; and steps towards modernization of public shipyards.

“While this bill makes real, bipartisan progress on many fronts, I remain concerned that it authorizes spending at levels far above statutory caps. Our work will not truly be finished until and unless authorizations and actual spending levels are rooted in the same reality,” said Congressman McEachin.

The FY 2018 NDAA:

  • authorizes $621.5 billion in discretionary base budget authority, including for the activities of DOD, as well as for the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy;
  • authorizes $74.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $10 billion of which is to be used for base-budget requirements, amounting to a total of $631.5 billion for base budget requirements and $64.6 billion for OCO requirements;
  • provides for increased end-strength across services including a policy of ensuring a 355-ship Navy;
  • provides for a 2.4 percent increase in military pay;
  • requires the Administration to develop more clear, comprehensive strategies to guide American policy in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere;
  • authorizes new investments in the European Deterrence Initiative and other efforts to support allies and partners, and deter potential aggressors like Russia, around the world; and
  • acknowledges the national security implications of climate change, and calls for proactive planning efforts in response — both at home and abroad.

“While the NDAA would have been better if my amendment were accepted, we took an important step to ensure that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have the resources they need to complete their missions and safely return to their families,” said Congressman McEachin. “We will not meet that goal until Congress passes a national defense authorization bill.”

The House Committee on Rules rejected Congressman McEachin’s common sense amendment that would have required the secretaries of state and defense to report to Congress about the diplomatic, economic, and national security impacts of the president’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. The report would also describe how the U.S. could meet emission reduction goals outlined in the U.S. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.

“Our Secretary of Defense, General Mattis, has said that he believes climate change impacts our national security. Our Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, thought it was in the best interests of our nation to remain an active partner in the Paris Agreement. Despite bipartisan acknowledgement of the danger of climate change and advice to remain committed to the Paris Agreement, my Republican colleagues acted against Americans’ best interests by blocking this amendment,” said Congressman McEachin.

During the House Armed Services Committee’s full committee markup, Mr. McEachin cosponsored the amendment that will require a report detailing the vulnerabilities climate change creates for military installations around the world. Mr. McEachin also spoke in favor of supplying information about naturalization to the permanent residents who bravely serve in the military, and spoke in opposition to an amendment that aimed to prevent transgender individuals from serving in the military.

The NDAA, H.R. 2810, was passed by the House of Representatives with a 344 - 81vote.

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Contact: Jamitress Bowden
(202) 225-6365