WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump has signed into law the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, which gives U.S. troops the largest pay raise in eight years, makes major reforms to Pentagon spending practices and increases funding for essential military readiness recovery.
The bill passed the House Nov. 14 with an overwhelming majority by a vote of 356 to 70, including the support of all six members from Louisiana, including the lone Democrat from the state, Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans).
In remarks from the Roosevelt Room at the White House shortly before signing the bill Dec. 12, Trump praised members of Congress for the bipartisan support.
“This legislation will enhance our readiness, expand our modernized – and modernize our forces, and help provide our service members with the tools that they need to fight and to win,” he said. “We will fight and win. But hopefully, with this, we won’t have to fight because people will not be wanting to fight with us.”
Among the members of Louisiana’s delegation to vote in favor of the bill were Louisiana Baptists Ralph Abraham (R-Mangham) and Mike Johnson (R-Benton). Abraham is a member of Alto Baptist Church while Johnson is a member of First Baptist Church, Bossier City.
“This is an NDAA that sets the foundation for rebuilding our military and giving our men and women in uniform the tools they need to accomplish their missions and keep America safe,” Abraham said in a statement. “This is a strong bill that will protect troop levels at Fort Polk and Barksdale, give military service members a much-deserved pay raise and provide financial stability for surviving spouses.”
Johnson introduced an amendment to the bill that aims to strengthen the country’s cyber capabilities by requiring the Army to conduct a review of the Army Combat Training Centers and current resident cyber capabilities training.
“Under the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress, we have begun a new era of military readiness and prioritization,” Johnson said in a statement. “This new law will ensure our men and women in uniform are taken care of, not only on the battlefield, but also here at home. They deserve the best our nation can provide, and this Congress is determined to restore and rebuild our Armed Forces so they can successfully carry out their missions and provide more for their families.”