Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Letter From Senator Durbin RE: NDAA

November 15, 2016 Mr. William Rosen
Lombard, IL 60148

Dear Mr. Rosen:

Thank you for contacting me about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. I appreciate hearing from you.
On June 14, 2016, the Senate passed the NDAA, which would authorize appropriations and establish policies for Department of Defense programs and activities. The House passed a different version of NDAA. Once the same provisions are agreed to by both the House and the Senate, the bill could then be considered by the President.

The Senate version of the NDAA would authorize approximately $543 billion for national defense programs as well as an additional $59 billion for overseas contingency operations. We must ensure that United States Military Personnel and their families are justly compensated for their honorable sacrifice. The Senate-passed NDAA authorizes a 1.6 percent pay increase for troops.

The legislation also contains provisions to reform the military health system to provide military service members and their families with better access to higher quality care. Approximately one-third of service members receive government-provided housing and the remainder receive a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for housing they rent or purchase that is not provided by the government. The Senate-passed NDAA would provide an allowance amount equal to the actual monthly cost of housing. If two or more service members occupy the same housing, the allowance would be split among them to total this actual cost of the housing.

No words can adequately express our nation's debt to the men and women who have served our country, but providing accessible and affordable health care and benefits is one way we can show our gratitude for their service. As the lead Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I will continue to work to ensure that the federal government provides the funding necessary to meet our commitments to our troops and veterans.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Sincerely, Richard J. Durbin United States Senator