McCaskill, Blunt vote to approve National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, DC Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt praised U.S. Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bill includes a 2.1 percent pay increase for military personnel. That’s the largest raise in six years. It also provides $6.9 million to build a new fire house at Fort Leonard Wood.

“When we send our troops into harm’s way, it is our job to ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to carry out their missions," said Sen. Roy Blunt. "This bill honors that commitment, and includes several defense priorities that are critical for Missouri military installations and personnel, including the largest military pay raise in six years. It also prevents the president from moving terrorist detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to U.S. soil, which the vast majority of Americans opposes. The strong, bipartisan support this bill has received year after year is a testament to its importance for our nation’s security, and I urge the president to sign it without delay.”

McCaskill also noted A $9.5 million increase to fund mental health providers for members of the Army National Guard.

“One of the most important parts of my job is ensuring we’re keeping this country strong and retaining Missouri’s leadership in our national defense—and this sweeping legislation helps achieve both goals,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We’ve got a clear blueprint for our national security needs that will help boost Missouri’s already critical role in our nation’s defense and help enhance America’s capabilities at home and abroad.”

The measure also includes McCaskill’s bipartisan legislation with Republican Senator Joni Ernst to target the high rates of survivors who report that they have been retaliated against by their peers after coming forward to report a sexual assault.

The bill is now on its way to the president’s desk.