As Americans, we are blessed with the freedom and liberty that comes with living in the greatest nation in history. However, we must remember that these freedoms come at a great cost. On Monday, we will honor the brave men and women whose love of country led them to answer the call to defend our nation. Memorial Day is a time to remember our fallen heroes – those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
During the week before Memorial Day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019.
This vital legislation authorizes military funding and makes critical improvements to our military infrastructure and readiness.
First and foremost, the NDAA fully funds a 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest pay raise in nine years. It also provides funding to increase the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. The legislation provides additional funding to support increased training, which is critical to keeping our military safe. Looking to the future of warfare, the NDAA also provides funds to combat cyber threats.
While the NDAA supports troops across the nation, it provides crucial certainties to Missouri. It authorizes a multi-year procurement for the F-18, built by Boeing in Missouri. The manufacturing of this aircraft provides an estimated 13,000 jobs in Missouri and supports 91 supplier companies in Missouri. Additionally, it has a yearly economic impact of $640 million in Missouri.
The first duty of the federal government is to protect our nation, and that duty cannot be fulfilled without our men and women in the military. I was proud to vote for this important bill in support our troops, because without their service and bravery America would not be the country it is today.