Press Releases

Rep. Peters Helps Pass Military Budget That Benefits San Diego

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement following passage of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“Passing this bill will benefit San Diego’s economy and serve our national security interests,” Rep. Peters said. “This will improve our military’s readiness efforts and protect our promises to servicemembers and their families. I am glad that the House and Senate Armed Services Committees came together for a constructive discussion to form this agreement, ensuring that we pass our 53rd straight military budget.”

Rep. Peters continued, “The threat of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequester still loom large over long-term planning for our military’s budget. Next year I will continue to advocate for repealing sequester and for smarter budgeting that does not put our readiness at risk. I will also be focused on the need for a diverse energy portfolio at the Department of Defense in line with the legislation I introduced earlier this year, the ‘Department of Defense Energy Security Act’ (DODESA).”

“With time running out, it would have been easy for the House to just cave to the Senate,” stated Vice Adm. Norb Ryan (USN-Ret), President of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). “However, House negotiators helped blunt the blow to military families and retired beneficiaries.”

Some of the major features of the NDAA, including several beneficial items for San Diego are below:

Pay & Commissaries

This NDAA includes a 1% pay raise for servicemembers and rejects proposed cuts to the popular commissary program.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Funding for various unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) programs is included, with $98 million specifically to pay for an additional 8 MQ-9 UAVs that are a priority for the Air Force. MQ-9s are a tried and tested system relied upon heavily in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have also been used at the state level for combating wildfires. The production of UAVs is an economic driver in San Diego County and our proud contribution to keeping servicemen and women out of harm’s way while extending the range of our national defense capabilities.

Aircraft Carriers

The legislation supports a fleet of 11 aircraft carriers by fully funding the refueling and overhaul of the USS George Washington. Aircraft carriers are one of our military’s best assets for establishing forward presence and power projection. Maintaining an 11 aircraft carrier fleet allows ships to be stationed around the globe and able to respond to sudden crises. The carrier fleets benefit San Diego, where 2 carriers are currently home-ported and provide approximately $500 million each in economic benefit to our region’s economy.

Mt. Soledad Memorial

This year’s NDAA also includes language supported on a bipartisan level by Reps. Peters, Duncan Hunter (CA-50), and Susan Davis (CA-53), to sell the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial land to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association with the requirement that it forever remain a memorial to veterans.