O'Halleran Votes to Give Troops a Raise, Invest in Military
Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted to pass the final FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a number of provisions he introduced and championed. The legislative package, which allocates funds for military operations at home and abroad, includes critical investments and resources for Arizona’s military installations and personnel.
The bill passed in a bipartisan 359-54 vote.
“Arizona’s servicemembers, military families, and veterans are some of the most patriotic men and women I have had the pleasure of meeting, and today, I was proud to support them by passing this critical legislation,” said Rep. O’Halleran following the vote. “After years of dangerous cuts, this legislation gives Arizona military installations a much-needed boost. We are giving our troops the highest pay raise in nine years, investing in our military’s readiness, and ensuring our Armed Forces have the tools they need to complete their missions and protect our nation.”
Included in the final legislation are amendments introduced by O’Halleran that will bolster career education for federal firefighting jobs at the Forest Service and BLM in the Transition Assistance Program and encourage the recruitment and hiring of astronomers at the Naval Observatory in Flagstaff. Additionally, included in the bill is language originally offered by O’Halleran and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) that strengthens oversight of TRICARE’s reimbursement for mental health care services and beneficiary access as well as language championed by O’Halleran and Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) to increase cyber-security capabilities in the National Guard.
“I am pleased to have had broad support for many of the amendments I introduced that will strengthen Arizona communities by connecting transitioning servicemembers with good-paying jobs, O’Halleran continued. “I am ready to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our Armed Forces and ensure they have the resources they need to succeed.”
The bill includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for servicemembers, funding for additional Apache and Blackhawk helicopters and critical munitions programs built in Arizona, and strengthened “Buy American” provisions. The bill creates an independent National Commission on Military Aviation Safety to review aviation mishaps, including those in Arizona, and prescription drug monitoring and counter-drug programs to combat the opioid epidemic.