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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the Senate passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today by a vote of 85-13:

“Today, I voted in favor of the FY17 NDAA, which, while imperfect, makes investments in a strong military to protect and defend our national security, supports our servicemembers and their families, and boosts our Made in Wisconsin economy.

“There are measures in this bill that I have worked to include and support, such as a provision I authored to direct the National Academies of Sciences to assist the military in using safer and more environmentally-friendly technologies to properly dispose of munitions. This will help prevent the kinds of negative public health and ecological impacts that can occur at military sites like the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. I also cosponsored a bipartisan amendment that would prevent additional regulations and red tape from being added to the Defense Department’s medical research program for servicemembers, veterans and their families. Additionally, I’m proud to have worked across party lines on the Manufacturing Universities Act, which is included in this legislation and will strengthen engineering programs to help ensure that our universities offer courses that can better prepare students for our 21st century advanced manufacturing economy.

“Finally, while I am pleased that this bill authorizes funding for critical programs that are made in Wisconsin, like the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle produced by Oshkosh Defense, it also unfortunately includes misguided cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program. In May, through my work on the Appropriations Committee, I helped reject similar cuts as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Department of Defense funding bill, which instead provides full funding for the production of these ships made at Marinette Marine, including three ships in the coming year. As Congress moves forward with Pentagon policy and funding legislation, I will continue to ensure Congress does not limit the LCS program, which is so critical to our national security and our Wisconsin economy.”