Coffman Passes First Defense Bill as Subcommittee Chairman

Bill Includes Key Local Priorities in Final Bill

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Washington, November 14, 2017 | Daniel Bucheli (202-225-7882) | comments

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (CO-06) lauded the passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report, a bill that contains significant policy and funding initiatives for the Department of Defense (DoD).

Coffman, as Chairman of the House Armed Forces Subcommittee on Military Personnel, worked across party lines to ensure that the bill includes key provisions for our troops and their families, all while maintaining military readiness and issues important to the 6th Congressional district.  

“As chairman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee my goal is to ensure that we have the best trained, best equipped, and best led military in the world. The FY18 NDAA that we just passed makes tremendous strides in that direction and I look forward to getting this bill through the Senate and onto the President’s desk for his signature.”

Some of the provisions championed by Rep. Coffman that were in the FY2018 NDAA include:

  • Authorizing the by-law pay raise for troops by 2.4% – the highest in 8 years;
  • Increasing the end-strengths of the active, National Guard, and Reserve forces, thereby heightening mission readiness while reducing the stress and strain on the force;
  • Permanently preserving Special Survivor Indemnity Allowance payments, closing the gap in the “widows tax”, to surviving military spouses;
  • Improving sexual assault prevention and response by adding a new provision to the Uniform Code of Military Justice specifically prohibiting nonconsensual sharing of intimate images; and
  • Tackling challenges faced by military families regarding State licensure and certification requirements that interfere with a spouse’s employment when forced to move to a new state due to military orders.

The bill passed the House of Representatives with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 356-70.

Background for Colorado’s 6th Congressional District:

Additionally, Coffman included in the NDAA a provision that will benefit Buckley Air Force Base (AFB) by providing additional funding for the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI). The REPI program provides funds to procure additional land around military bases to protect them from encroaching development. These land buffers then become additional open space for outdoor recreation for surrounding communities. This program is critical for the flying mission at Buckley AFB which is the district’s largest employer.  

Another provision facilitates the relocation of the Fleet Ballistic Missile program to the Denver area, which will result in about 350 new, high-paying jobs—while saving DoD & tax payers an estimated $60 million per year in recurring cost avoidance.   

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