Rep. Peters Supports Defense Bill that Bolsters Energy Security Innovation, Raises Pay for Service Members, Examines Impacts of Climate Change on National Security
Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) helped pass the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2017, which is the final version of the Senate-House negotiated bill that lays out defense spending and policy for the next fiscal year. The conference report includes a provision that recognizes climate change as a national security threat and directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to study what steps are needed to mitigate effects on military operations. Rep. Peters, who was a featured speaker at the recent Pontifical Academy of Sciences’ workshop on climate actions, has consistently fought for Congress to act to address climate change and recently led a letter to the Conference Committee members urging that this climate action provision be included. The DOD will also receive new resources to innovate their energy security, which includes supporting renewable energy sources.
This year’s bill also includes a 2.4% pay raise for service members, the largest in 8 years; a 50% increase in funding for Navy shipbuilding that will continue construction of new aircraft carriers, provide the Navy with new Littoral Combat Ships and new destroyers; and $8 billion in funding will be dedicated to cyber operations and weapons.
The bill authorizes $258 million in military construction projects for Naval Special Warfare on Coronado, and $87 million for MCAS Miramar to build a flight simulator facility and an aircraft maintenance hangar.
Rep. Peters released the following statement after voting in favor of the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, which passed on a bipartisan 356-70 vote:
“The most important job we have in Congress is to give our service members the tools to properly defend the United States of America,” said Rep. Peters. “This bill will help close the readiness gaps which are hamstringing our military operations and putting the lives of service members in danger. Through this bill, service members will receive their largest pay raise in eight years, new planes and ships will be provided for the Navy and Marine Corps, and our defense against cyberattacks will be strengthened.”
“It also authorized funding for military construction in San Diego County that will continue the modernization of the Navy SEAL facilities on Coronado, hangar upgrades at MCAS Miramar, and improve facilities at Camp Pendleton. Not only does this better equip San Diego service members, but it also expands the military’s investment in San Diego, which supports job growth,” he said, adding that military related spending drives one-fifth of our region’s economy.
“Finally, it also gives the DOD the autonomy to pursue its energy security goals and prepare for the threat of climate change. We can’t let partisan politics get in the way of allowing the military to invest in energy innovation, and to address the fact that a changing climate is a threat to national security.”