Larson on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act
Washington – Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) issued the following statement:
“While this bill is far from perfect, the safety of our nation is paramount. This year’s NDAA provides support for military families and makes substantial investments in Connecticut’s defense and manufacturing sectors. The Joint Strike Fighter, Blackhawk Helicopter, and our nation’s submarine programs all saw a significant increase in this budget—allowing our state to expand its role in our nation’s defense and our manufacturers to continue their growth. This is truly a breakthrough budget for manufacturers all across the state of Connecticut.
“Though I ultimately voted in favor of it, I remain troubled by some of its provisions.
“First, the bill contains a disturbing provision that would allow defense contractors to discriminate against men and women in the LGBT community. The LGBT community has served our country honorably in all branches of the military. Just this week, the Senate confirmed Eric Fanning as the Secretary of the Army—the first openly gay man or woman to hold the position. It is deeply troubling that the House would choose to take a step backwards as the rest of the country moves forward. I voted for an amendment that would have stripped this language from the NDAA, and I will continue to fight for its removal.
“I also remain concerned with the bill’s reliance on a budgetary gimmick that hinders our ability to properly plan for and invest in the nation’s defense. We should not allow politics to come before the safety of the American people. It is time for us to come together to put together a proper, responsible budget.”