Bustos Votes to Pass Bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act

In addition to supporting Rockford’s defense industry and Peoria’s Air National Guard Base, Bustos successfully included two amendments to strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal through improved leasing and workload requirements

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted for the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act. This bill authorizes $621.5 billion in discretionary base budget authority, including for the activities of DOD, as well as for the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy.  The bill also authorizes $74.6 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), $10 million of which is to be used for base-budget requirements, amounting to a total of $631.5 billion for base budget requirements and $64.6 billion for OCO requirements.

The National Defense Authorization Act included two amendments Bustos included to strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal.

First, by working across the aisle over the last several days, Bustos successfully included an amendment that will reduce government waste and help strengthen the Rock Island Arsenal by requiring the Department of Defense to ensure that there isn’t any usable space available on a military installation before entering into expensive leases or purchasing additional property. This would help ensure that space at the Rock Island Arsenal, and other military installations, are maximized before the military leases additional space.

In June, Congresswoman Bustos inserted another amendment during the committee process. This amendment would require the Secretary of the Army to issue guidance on how it will decide which items to make at Army arsenals and which it will purchase from other sources with the goal of ensuring that arsenals have sufficient workload to keep their workforce skilled and their products affordable.

The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 344 to 81.

“Despite a highly partisan environment in Washington, I am proud that we were able to come together today and work across party lines to pass a National Defense Authorization bill that will strengthen our local economy while providing our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to succeed,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “I’m very pleased that this legislation provides funding to support our defense industry in Rockford and the Air National Guard base in Peoria. The Rock Island Arsenal is the economic engine that drives our economy in the Quad Cities and I want to thank my colleagues for including my amendments to ensure we’re doing all we can to strengthen the Arsenal. By making sure that the military has to look to our Arsenals before leasing new space and making Arsenals more competitive, we’re helping ensure a brighter economic future for thousands of hardworking men and women from our community.”