Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:
“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.
“During the conference process and debate, in my role as Ranking Member, I made sure that a number of important policy provisions remained in the legislation. In addition to supporting members of our Armed Forces and their families, the bill includes important provisions supporting investments in education, public health, workforce development, and prioritizes environmental cleanup. Additionally, the bill secured $190.9 million in funding for construction projects in Washington State that will help create both civilian and military jobs throughout our region. I fought back against efforts to include discriminatory language and ensured critical funding continues to support life-saving medical research. I will continue to advocate for a comprehensive policy that addresses our national security and economic challenges.”
Congressman Smith fought for numerous provisions in the FY18 NDAA Conference Report, such as:
- Establishes that it is policy of the United States Congress to acknowledge climate change and the impact it continues to have on our national security.
- Authorizes $755.6 million for environmental cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Site.
- Provides record funding for Impact Aid schools by increasing funding by $50 million to support military connected school districts, including many in Washington State.
- Directs the Secretary of Defense to ensure legal permanent residents serving in the military are informed of the availability of naturalization through their military service.
- Directs DOD to study safe opioid prescribing practices for those currently serving in the Armed Forces.
- Blocked earlier attempts to discriminate against transgender service members that would have limited their ability to receive health care.
- Successfully fought to maintain funding to conduct medical research on diseases that contribute to military readiness, such as breast cancer and traumatic brain injury.
Diversity in the Military:
- Recognizes the important contributions of Historically Black Colleges and Universities by increasing funding by $12 million to help educate and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.
- Extends survivor benefits for military widows and widowers by permanently extending the Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance.
- Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense on how DOD is responding to and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation.
- Requires a plan to reduce risk of accidental war and encourages dialogue with Russia, China, and North Korea.
Washington State projects include:
- $44.4 million for construction of a project to ensure the safety, accuracy, and efficient storage of munitions required to support ships homeported in Washington State.
- $19.5 million for a new fire station at the Yakima Training Center to provide fire protection and emergency response for base facilities, fires on the training ranges, and local communities in the region.
- $30.0 million for a new Army Reserve Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
- $31.0 million for a new National Guard Readiness Center in Tumwater to replace an outdated facility constructed in 1939 and provide administrative, training, and storage areas for Washington National Guard units.