Washington DC - Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the follow statement after the President signed into law the fiscal year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act:
“I am pleased to see the President sign this legislation. The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act represents a year of hard work by our committee and contains important authorities to help our men and women in uniform carry on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This legislation supports the men and women of our Armed Forces by ensuring that they have the resources they need. It places our policies and priorities exactly where they belong – on our troops and their families.
“The bill authorizes a 1.4 % pay raise for our troops, strengthens military health care and family support programs, and authorizes numerous other programs that will assist military families. It builds on the Committee’s efforts to support our military personnel and ensures that our military is properly resourced to meet the threats we face today, as well as those of the future.
“In addition to accomplishing these goals, this legislation contains vital provisions that will improve the Department of Defense acquisition system to ensure that the Pentagon spends taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner.
"I am pleased to see this legislation authorizes funding for the procurement and research development programs to ensure that our soldiers and airmen have the equipment and resources they need to carry out their missions. This includes funding for programs such as Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles, equipment for the National Guard and Reserve, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems, as well as other vital equipment and systems used by the Army and Air Force.
"I also share the President’s concern with some of the provisions regarding detentions in this bill, many of which were the result of compromises demanded by the then-minority at the last minute. I look forward to working with the Administration to craft a rational policy on detainees.”
“This bill is vitally important to our national security and I am proud of the support that it provides to our troops and their efforts to keep us safe. While some adjustments will be needed, I believe it strikes the right balance between fighting the conflicts of today, while preparing our forces for the conflicts of the future.”