Jul 26, 2018

Washington, DC (July 26, 2018) Today, Congressman Steve Pearce voted in favor of the H.R. 5515 - John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act. This bill provides the necessary authorization our armed forces need to keep the United States secure. It establishes pay raises for our nation's military personnel, procures new weapons systems that are needed to keep our soldiers safe while defending our freedoms overseas, and prioritizes military readiness and training. In addition, the NDAA includes several critical provisions that will benefit New Mexico's national labs and military installations.

"Today, the House acted on one of its most important responsibilities, ensuring our nation's military has the tools it needs to remain strong. The NDAA is essential for every aspect of the military, from safeguarding our soldiers’ pay and benefits for their families, to ensuring the nation’s military bases can be maintained and modernized, and training can continue to take place. Over the last month, conferees met to discuss final additions to the NDAA. I appreciate their hard work and dedication to our military. With this bill, our troops and military will maintain its position in the world, and also guarantee that our men and women in uniform are provided with the means necessary to perform well.”

Included in this year's NDAA bill are several initiatives and amendments added by Congressman Pearce which aim to support New Mexico's strong military heritage –ultimately supporting our military men and women who have made great sacrifices for our nation’s freedom.

1.            An amendment to expand the scope of Test and Evaluation Strategic Plans. For far too long, DOD has focused on short-term requirements for testing facilities that places our national security at risk. My amendment revises what must be included within these strategic plans to provide flexibility in testing.

2.            An amendment to require DOD to assess our nation’s space launch capabilities and infrastructure against potential vulnerabilities, focusing on how Spaceports, such as Spaceport America, can be utilized to conduct launches.

3.            A New Mexico Delegation amendment requiring the Department of Energy to develop a strategy for the future that will safeguard the important work Los Alamos National Lab does for our nation’s weapons program.

4.            Language that supports the ongoing mission advanced space situational awareness testing at Magdalena Ridge Observatory.

5.            Authorized $396 million for NM’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plan (WIPP), which will ensure the site can continue to modernize and serve its national security role for decades to come.

"New Mexico’s role in our nation’s military readiness has been significant for over a century. With numerous military bases and test sites, along with developing some of the top military technology, the United States benefits greatly from our State’s military footprint, and New Mexico benefits greatly from the NDAA. This is why I always fight to provide amendments to this bill that will ensure New Mexico can continue its position as an important player in military readiness for the foreseeable future.”