Jun 19 2018

Senate Passes Defense Authorization Bill

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) voted in favor of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19 NDAA), which included several priorities for South Carolina and the rest of the nation.  The bill was approved by the full Senate 85-10.  Next, the legislation will go to a conference committee, where the House of Representatives and Senate will work out differences and produce a final version of the legislation.

“The fact that this bill includes $716 billion in funding for our national defense is a testament to Chairman McCain’s commitment to serving the American people and protecting the homeland,” said Graham.  “I truly appreciate his leadership, as well as Senator Jim Inhofe, Ranking Member Jack Reed and all of their capable staff for getting this important legislation swiftly approved by the committee and the full Senate.”

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I understand that the first and most important dollars our nation spends each year are for our national security,” said Graham.  “We must ensure our men and women have the best tools, training and equipment to carry out their vital mission to protect our nation.”

“Finally, South Carolina has long played an important role in the protection of our nation,” continued Graham.  “I’m proud to have worked on these priorities for our national defense and our state.  It’s important South Carolina remain the tip of the spear when it comes to meeting the needs of the military and our men and women in uniform.”

Highlights of Graham provisions included in the Senate-passed FY19 NDAA:

Authorizes six South Carolina Military Construction projects.

  • A new MQ-9 Reaper Operations facility at Shaw Air Force Base
  • A basic training barracks complex at Fort Jackson to support 1,200 trainees
  • Improvements and modernization to training ranges at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
  • A cryogenics facility at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort
  • A new hazardous waste/recycling facility at MCAS Beaufort
  • Improvements to the electrical grid systems at MCAS Beaufort

Advocates for South Carolina.

  • Included an amendment for the MOX Facility at Savannah River Site which prohibits use of funds to close down the facility
  •  Encourages DOD to consider the use of airless tires, important to South Carolina tire industry
  • Fully authorizes continued production rate of Meals Ready-to-Eat (MREs) – hundreds of thousands are manufactured in South Carolina – vital for our troops serving in combat
  • Encourages the efficient and economical operation of Working Capital Fund activities like SPAWAR, Charleston
  • Fully authorizes the President’s Request for the T-X program in South Carolina’s Upstate – a key aspect of the Air Force’s mission to develop a new training jet – which could add hundreds of jobs to the Palmetto State
  • Helps facilitate two land transfers for the South Carolina National Guard
  • Authorizes $529 million to procure a critical type of field artillery, Paladin Integrated Management set, supported by BAE Systems in Aiken
  • Includes a provision to help the defense supply chain with implementing stronger cybersecurity protections, which helps small and medium-sized South Carolina businesses that are essential to the defense industry
  • Directs the Secretary of the Army to provide a study on the Columbia-manufactured M240 medium machine gun

Gives Troops a Much-Deserved Pay Raise.

  • Authorizes a 2.6 percent pay raise for members of the Armed Forces

Stands Strong for Israel.

  • Authorizes an increase in the amount of precision guided munitions available to enable our allies, such as Israel, to counter regional threats