O’Halleran Votes to Give Troops a Pay Raise
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass the bipartisan Conference Report on H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The annual legislation includes a 3% pay increase for servicemembers, authorization of funding to strengthen American ability to respond to potential COVID-19 resurgence and other infectious diseases in the future, and improvements to military family paid maternal and paternal leave, child care, and sexual assault prevention and response programs within the U.S. armed forces.
Within the bill are several Arizona-specific wins O’Halleran helped to secure, including:
- a Land Conveyance at Camp Navajo from the U.S. Army to the State of Arizona for
- Arizona National Guard Training purposes, and
- defense industrial base economic development purposes;
- expansion of contracting budget authority for the F-35 program;
- protections for the A-10 Warthog aircraft and the KC-135 refueling aircraft from retirement by the Air Force or DOD, which will keep many jobs in Arizona;
- the O’Halleran-cosponsored Seeding Rural Resilience Act, which will help to reduce the growing rate of suicide in rural areas—particularly farming and agricultural production communities—across the country.
“With the passage of today’s NDAA we are ensuring our military remains the strongest in the world and giving our servicemembers a much-deserved pay increase,” said O’Halleran following the floor vote. “I was pleased to see my initiatives that will cut red tape and expand economic development opportunity for Arizonans by increasing military-civilian operation coordination, and our bill to address the growing crisis of rural suicide, were also included in this year’s package.”
A tailored land transfer at Flagstaff’s Camp Navajo will allow for select commercial activities to take place on parts of the base while still allowing the Department of Defense to safely carry out its missions there, empowering Camp Navajo to utilize excess storage capacity to pursue economic development opportunities beneficial to both the base and the northern Arizona community.
A summary of the FY2021 NDAA is available, HERE.
“I am disappointed to see my legislation to protect the Grand Canyon and surrounding communities from uranium mining and my bill to provide expanded compensation to 'downwinder' individuals who suffer from complications associated with uranium exposure was not included in our final package,” continued O’Halleran. “However, I will keep fighting for these important initiatives and am pleased that our annual NDAA process was completed in a bipartisan, bicameral manner, with the voices of many incorporated at the table.”