Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement today on H.R. 1815, the FY 2006 National Defense Authorization Act:

“I’m pleased that this bill includes a number of provisions to support our troops and veterans including a 3.1% pay increase across-the-board for all our servicemen and women, incentives and bonuses for our Guard and Reserve, including a $15,000 enlistment bonus, and $3.3 billion for better force protection for our troops, including more up-armoured Humvees, body armor and jammers. As more servicemen and women encounter the stresses of combat, I’m pleased that the House adopted an amendment that would improve the awareness of mental-health treatment availability and to reduce the stigma associated with mental health care for our servicemembers.”

PLEASE NOTE: A more comprehensive press release of provisions included in the bill, particularly those affecting the Puget Sound region, will be available tomorrow.