Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor's Statement on House Passage of the FY2019 NDAA

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Washington, May 24, 2018 | comments
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the below statement following the passage of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today in the U.S. House of Representatives:
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U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the below statement following the passage of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“MacDill Air Force Base missions and service members are central to Tampa Bay’s economy and our national security and the 2019 NDAA goes a long way to ensuring that our service men and women – and their families – at MacDill AFB have the tools they need to keep our country safe, both home and abroad,” U.S. Rep. Castor said.  “I am proud that the investments at MacDill AFB that I helped champion were included in this NDAA, including a 2.6 percent boost in pay, an expansion in the expertise and faculty at SOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University and $3.1 million for the KC-135 beddown to add flight simulator training at MacDill AFB.

“Our special operators also are likely to benefit from an amendment I worked on with Rep. Richard Hudson (NC08) which requires the Secretary of Defense to re-examine the process for awarding Imminent Danger and Hostile Fire Pay – particularly to ensure our special operators, who go where the fighting is, irrespective of defined geographic areas, get the benefits they have earned,” U.S. Rep. Castor continued.

MacDill AFB is home to SOCOM and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), two of the most important military commands.  MacDill AFB’s 6th Air Mobility Wing is the centerpiece of the U.S. Air Force’s Global Vigilance, Global Reach, Global Power mission with its essential functions of aerial refueling and airlift.  The scale of MacDill AFB’s missions have rapidly increased with the recent expansion of eight new KC-135 tankers and related service members.  MacDill AFB’s mission is vital to keeping America safe and ready for any contingencies we may face as a nation.

The 2019 NDAA authorizes approximately $708 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD), in addition to close to $10 billion in mandatory spending for a total of roughly $718 billion.  Unfortunately, House Republicans blocked U.S. Rep. Castor’s bipartisan amendment to the 2019 NDAA to ban oil drilling off the coast of Florida.  The bipartisan amendment with U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Naples) followed the Department of Defense (DOD) report that oil drilling is inconsistent with the military mission in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

“I am disappointed that Republicans in Congress did not allow a vote at all on the ban on oil drilling off the coast of Florida, a step that is vital to protecting the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico which the Department of Defense reiterated on May 9 continues to be a strategic national asset critical to the lethality of our weapon systems and the readiness of our service members,’” U.S. Rep. Castor added.  “It is important to our country’s national security that oil drilling does not take place in these waters vital to our readiness and I will not stop working to protect our coast which is the lifeblood of our economy.”

U.S. Rep. Castor serves as Vice Ranking Member of the powerful U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee and earlier in her tenure served on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee.

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Tags: Military