Augusta Free Press

Tim Kaine on passage of Senate defense bill

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes numerous provisions he supported in the Committee markup to benefit Virginia’s shipbuilding industry, defense community, servicemembers, and their families.

“I’m proud that once again the Senate was able to come together in a bipartisan way to strengthen our national security, support our servicemembers, and bolster the work of our defense community in Virginia. On this issue, year after year we get this done. This year, I was especially proud the Armed Services Committee and the Senate stood with me in support of $10 billion in additional funding for the Navy, critical to Hampton Roads and our shipbuilders. There is always more to do. I’m thankful to Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed for helping our committee set an example of how the Senate should work, by passing a bipartisan bill that will make a difference in the lives of Virginians. We need more of this.

“We delivered many wins for our servicemembers in this bill, but we still owe them a very important debate and vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force. There are thousands of American troops fighting across the world, willing to sacrifice so much, and they deserve to know Congress is behind them, not just with funding, but in support of their missions. Instead Congress is punting—allowing the President to wage war anywhere, anytime, against any terrorist group, and for however long he wants. Supporting our troops and our national defense is about ensuring they have the resources they need, but it’s also about showing them we have their backs, and I hope now we have the momentum for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to finally take up the authorization Senator Flake and I have proposed.”

The following list includes many of the programs and provisions Kaine advocated for during the markup and amendment process that were included in the final bill, which will directly affect Virginia’s defense industry: