18th District Congressman Darin LaHood voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday. The act authorizes funding for the Department of Defense, which has provisions for 2 regional Air National Guard bases. The act passed the House of Representatives 295 to 125 in a mostly bi-partisan manner. President Donald Trump signaled last week that he would likely veto the bill due to requirements that the D.O.D. strip the names of Confederate generals from U.S. military bases.
LaHood said in a press release after the vote that he was pleased to vote in favor of the bill which included mission readiness for the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria and the 183rd Wing in Springfield. LaHood had also joined fellow Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos last month in a letter asking that a 292-aircraft C-130 fleet be created. The bill includes provisions for two of the aircraft to be built. The NDAA also includes LaHood’s advocacy for upgrades of existing C-130 H planes. The bill also includes a 3% pay increase for military members in the upcoming year.
The Republican-led Senate is debating its version of the NDAA this week. The Senate on Tuesday defeated an NDAA amendment that would have blocked the Pentagon from transferring to local police military-grade equipment. It did approve a measure to provide more training for police and put more controls on such transfers.
According to Reuters, Congress has passed the NDAA for 59 straight years. It is one of the few major pieces of legislation treated as “must-pass” because it governs everything from pay raises and benefit changes for the troops to how many aircraft should be purchased or how best to compete with rivals like Russia and China.