WASHINGTON — With the support of Congressman Henry Cuellar, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.
This legislation provides crucial advancements to our national defense policy, including a provision by Rep. Cuellar which develops joint testing and training of unmanned aircraft and systems between the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration. This provision will lead to more border resources by better training and equipping pilots to operate unmanned aircraft for the purposes of border security.
“As we tighten the belt of federal spending, it is important we leverage our resources to their fullest extent – especially when those resources are used to protect our border and prepare our soldiers for the future,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Improvements to our training and testing procedures mean more resources without more spending. This means more eyes in the sky protecting our border.”
In addition to the provision Cuellar secured, the FY14 NDAA also makes several improvements to our national defense policy, while still providing all promised pay, benefits, and protection for our troops. Additionally, the bill contains important advancements in combating sexual assault in the military, religious liberties protections, ensuring our men and women serving can do so without fear of their safety or beliefs. With the ongoing budget cuts, the legislation also provides for a restructuring of resources in the Department of Defense, to ensure combat readiness is not compromised as the agencies trim excess assets and services. Finally, the law provides our armed services a plan for winning the war in Afghanistan, and strengthening our resolve in Syria, Iran, and Libya. A full summary of the legislation can be seen here: http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=127E1D4B-DD... .
This bipartisan legislation is expected to be passed in the Senate next week and signed into law by President Obama in the coming weeks.