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Rep. Young Votes in Favor of Defense Appropriations Bill, Supports Rep. Amash’s Amendment to Limit Power of NSA


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Alaskan Congressman Don Young today voted in support of H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for 2014, which passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 315-109.  In total, H.R. 2397 contains $512.5 billion in non-emergency, discretionary budgetary authority for the Department of Defense, includes $175 billion for operations and maintenance, and $85.8 billion for in war funding for Overseas Contingency Operations.  Overall, this bill reduces defense spending by $5.1 billion below FY13 levels by making common sense cuts that do not affect military readiness or effectiveness.  

“As a nation still at war, it is important that we fully support our nation’s military. However, in these tough budgetary times, we must also find ways to conserve and reduce where we can, and this appropriations bill found smart ways to cut spending from last year’s levels,” Rep. Young said.  “Despite these reductions, I fought to include funding for many programs that are beneficial to Alaska, such as funding for the radar and ground-based missile defense system largely based in interior Alaska, the continued use and maintenance of C-23 Sherpa aircraft which is vital to the Alaska National Guard, and the restoration of critical funding for the Civil Air Patrol and DoD STARBASE education program. Today’s legislation also takes several important steps to address the clear problem of sexual assault in the military.  Additionally, this bill supports suicide prevention efforts, traumatic brain injury research, and crucial Department of Defense health programs that conduct essential cancer research.”

“A topic that received a great deal of attention during this appropriations debate dealt with the power and secrecy of the National Security Agency.  Like most Americans, I am extremely troubled by the fact that our government was collecting phone data from law-abiding Americans, and as a result I supported Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) amendment to curb the power and scope of the NSA.  Despite its narrow defeat, I will continue to work with my colleagues to protect the freedoms of every day Americans and ensure that we continue to provide the proper oversight on what government agencies are really doing.”

Other Key Amendment Votes:

  • Supported Reps. Massie (R-KY), Amash (R-MI), Yoho (R-FL) amendment to ensure that funds cannot be spent on military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.
  • Supported Rep. Radel (R-FL) amendment to prevent any military action in Syria which would be inconsistent with the War Powers Resolution.
  • Supported a Rep. Broun (R-GA) amendment to prohibit the Department of Defense from using any funds to operate an unmanned aerial system in contravention of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

Important Items:

  • Pay Raise:  This legislation fully funds the authorized 1.8 percent pay raise for the military – above the one percent the President requested.
  •  Military Readiness and R&D Funding:  Sustains key military readiness programs that prepare our troops for any mission—funding flight time and battle training, equipment and facility maintenance, and base operations with $175B.  This includes R&D funding for: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; the BAMS Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, the KC-46A tanker program, and the new Air Force bomber program. 
  • Pakistan Funding Limitation:  The legislation prohibits funds to the Government of Pakistan unless the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, certifies to the Committees on Appropriations that the Government of Pakistan is cooperating with the United States in counterterrorism efforts, and not supporting terrorist activities against United States or coalition forces in Afghanistan, among other criteria.
  • Israel Funding:   Funds the Israeli Cooperative Programs with $489 million, including $220.3 million to the Government of Israel for the procurement of the Iron Dome defense system.
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