By Theresa Rose, KILJ Radio
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today released the following statement after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Loebsack, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, was a member of the conference committee that negotiated the final version of the bill. He was able to include many of his top priorities, including support for the Rock Island Arsenal and expanded mental health care and suicide prevention access for the National Guard and Reserve. In addition, the bill gives the Chief of the National Guard Bureau a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff; provides funding for National Guard equipment; gives our troops a 1.6 percent pay raise; and significantly improves military sexual assault and harassment prevention and response policies. The bill now heads to the Senate before going to the President for his signature. “Our men and women in uniform serve our nation with tremendous skill and honor. I was proud to work in a bipartisan fashion to give our troops and military families the support and resources they deserve,” said Loebsack. “I’m happy this bill includes my legislation to expand the National Guard’s and Reserve’s access to mental health care and suicide prevention. By providing this access during training, this provision will help to support our National Guard and Reserve, who have been hit hard in this economic downturn, while they’re here at home, not just when they’re serving our country overseas.”
“The Rock Island Arsenal is critical to the Quad Cities’ economy and to our military readiness. The highly skilled Arsenal workforce is second to none, and I am very proud that this bill includes the provisions I worked with Congressman Schilling on to expand the Arsenal’s ability to enter into public private partnerships. These partnerships will strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal, contribute to the Quad Cities’ economy, and support the good jobs at the Arsenal,” said Loebsack.