The U.S. senate has passed and sent to the president, a revised defense bill, to replace one the president vetoed last month.
Washington, D.C. – The senate passed the revised National Defense Authorization Act, 91 to 3, after the house overwhelmingly approved it last week. The senate separately passed a bill to fund military construction in the NDAA.
It was the 54th consecutive NDAA to win congressional approval and President Obama was expected to sign it, after he vetoed an earlier bill that failed to end automatic budget cuts, known as “sequestration.”
The revised NDAA reflects a 2-year bipartisan budget deal that boosts pentagon and domestic discretionary spending by 40-billion each.
Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo who helped barter the original deal with the senate and the NMI’s Greg ‘Kilili’ Sablan, argued for an NDAA that now eases sequestration, continues the Guam build-up…and adds new NMI slots at the military academies.
Senate armed services chair John McCain called the NDAA the “most significant reform legislation in 30-years”
626 McCain “this legislation delivers the most sweeping reforms to our defense acquisition system, in a generation. The NDAA modernizes a 70-year old retirement system, and extends benefits to hundreds of thousands of service members that, previously, were excluded under the old system.”
It redirects 11-billion in savings from bloated pentagon staffs to war fighters, fighter aircraft, shipbuilding, cyber-defenses and help for allies like Ukraine.
The FY ’16 NDAA includes 3 extra academy slots for the NMI, bringing it’s total to nine, frees up $106 million for civilian water and waste-water projects on Guam and adds $20 million more, the president requested.
$272 million is authorized for military construction on Guam, including a live-fire training range at the Northwest field.
Not in the bill, language struck last year as well, to allow the Air Force secretary to build a divert airfield anywhere in the NMI, not just the military’s preferred site in Saipan. Local leaders favor a Tinian location.