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Washington D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 4435, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015:

“A primary role for government is to defend our nation and ensure the well-being of its citizens. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015 (FY15 NDAA), which passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 325 to 98, was crafted with those two goals in mind. Facing the government’s responsibility to attain fiscal sustainability while still providing for the national defense, this bill reduces defense spending from fiscal year 2014 levels while retaining funding for programs necessary for our military operations.

“The FY15 NDAA ensures that troops continue to receive the statutory 1.8% annual pay increase. It also rejects the President’s proposals for increased out-of-pocket costs for TRICARE, cuts to housing allowances, and cuts to commissary benefits, which would adversely affect military families.  In addition, the FY15 NDAA reflects the substantial, bipartisan reforms recommended by the subcommittee on military personnel to combat sexual assault in the military.

“We need a strong and ready military in a still uncertain world. The NDAA authorizes $521.3 billion in spending for our national defense and an additional $79.3 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations—overall $30.7 billion less than enacted in the fiscal year 2014 NDAA.

“Finally, and personally, I would like to highlight the official title of this bill: the Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.  Given that my good friend Buck McKeon announced that he will retire from Congress after this term, this will be the last defense authorization bill he stewards through the House and the Senate. The bill fittingly includes Buck’s name. Buck has been a stalwart leader in ensuring that the Antelope Valley, which we both represent, has had the resource it needs to continue supporting our nation’s warfighting efforts.  At a time of our impending budget crisis, Buck’s leadership, tireless advocacy, and ability to forge bipartisan agreements have helped ensure our ability to defend our country.