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.