Congressman Matt Gaetz Applauds Passage of NDAA Conference Report
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) today issued the following statement applauding the House of Representatives for passing the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. During the development of this legislation in the House, Rep. Gaetz secured numerous provisions, including an amendment for SPACE-A travel benefits for veterans with service-related disabilities.
“Today, the House passed the Conference Report on the National Defense Authorization Act, a critically-important piece of legislation that funds the military of the United States.
Under the NDAA, the men and women who serve our great nation will receive their largest pay raise in nine years. Each Service receives a larger budget, addressing critical issues of military readiness, training, safety, and more.
The NDAA takes a clear-eyed look at the challenges and threats facing America and gives the Department of Defense the resources it needs to tackle them. It addresses the perils of Chinese technology theft, closes dangerous loopholes in foreign investments, and enhances our missile defense — all while curbing bureaucracy and increasing accountability to ensure that Americans’ tax dollars are well-spent.
This bill is a victory for Northwest Florida, with a $31.9 million increase in funding for test ranges like the Gulf Test Range, as well as construction of new buildings at Eglin AFB and a new air control tower at Whiting Field. The NDAA further cements Northwest Florida’s reputation as America’s premiere location for military training.
A strong military makes a strong nation, and with the passage of the NDAA, our military is continuing to be rebuilt after many years of hardship and neglect. I was proud to vote for the NDAA, and glad that so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle supported it, too. I have every confidence that the Senate will pass it quickly. Our highest priority in Congress is to ensure the defense of America. By passing the NDAA, we have done just that,” Rep. Gaetz said.
Spanning the coast of the First Congressional District, the Gulf Test Range provides approximately 120,000 square miles of overwater airspace. It is used for high altitude, supersonic air combat training, as well as air-to-air missile testing, drone targeting, hypersonic weapons testing, and space launches. Additionally, the Air Force Special Operations Command, the 96th Test Wing, the 33rd Fighter Wing, and others all train on the Gulf Test Range.
Background information on additional provisions Rep. Gaetz added in the FY2019 NDAA can be found below.
- $31.9 million for Gulf Coast Test and Training Range enhancements.
- $34.8 million for an F-35A Integrated Training Center Academics building at Eglin AFB.
- $28.0 million for an F-35A Student Dormitory at Eglin AFB.
- $38.0 million for construction of a Cyberspace Test Facility at Eglin AFB.
- $10.0 Million for air control tower construction at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.