Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement on the enactment of H.R. 2647, the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. President Obama signed the bill into law today during a White House ceremony:
“I thank President Obama for signing this defense authorization bill into law. This is an excellent bill that supports our troops in the field and their families at home, and strikes the right balance between the immediate fights in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and the long-term needs of our military.
While this major legislation includes many important provisions, I am especially proud of our efforts to take care of service members and their families. This year’s defense bill provides a 3.4 percent pay raise for all service members, extends the authority for bonuses and incentive pay, expands TRICARE health coverage to reserve component members and their families, prohibits fee increases on TRICARE inpatient care for one year, and also provides $2.2 billion for family housing programs to support and expand the quality housing our military families deserve. The bill also improves benefits for wounded warriors, providing travel and transportation for up to three designated people to visit hospitalized service members and enabling seriously injured service members to use a non-medical attendant for help with daily living or during travel for medical treatment.
The defense authorization bill is one way our nation demonstrates gratitude for the countless sacrifices these service member patriots make to keep America safe. With the enactment of this legislation, our men and women in uniform and their families will soon begin to benefit from this year’s defense bill.”
The conference report to H.R. 2647 authorizes $550.2 billion in budget authority for the Department of Defense (DOD) and the national security programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). The bill also authorizes $130 billion to support overseas contingency operations during fiscal year 2010. A detailed summary of the conference report to H.R. 2647 is available at http://democrats-armedservices.house.gov/ .