Bipartisanship not dead in Congress
The passage of Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act shows that bipartisanship in Congress is not dead, and should be continued with other vital issues for the good of the nation.
The defense spending act was passed at the swiftest pace in 20 years, Pentagon officials said.
President Trump signed the bill into law at a ceremony Monday at Fort Drum, N.Y.
In a statement, the Department of Defense officials noted this year’s bill passed with overwhelmingly bipartisan support — a vote of 87-10 in the Senate and 359-54 in the House.
The bill authorizes a $717 billion national defense budget that “rebuilds our military, increases lethality, strengthens our alliances and partnerships and reforms the way we do business,” the statement said.
“I am grateful for the strong commitment of members on both sides of the aisle to pass this year’s NDAA in record time. Together, they have demonstrated the deep and abiding bipartisan support our military enjoys,” Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said. “It is now our duty to implement these policies responsibly and ensure a culture of performance and accountability.”
The Pentagon said highlights of the act are:
• Increases to the military’s authorized active-duty end strength by 15,600;
• Raises service member pay by 2.6 percent, the largest raise in nine years;
• Recognizes the importance of modernizing and strengthening the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to more effectively guard against the risk to national security posed by certain types of foreign investment;
• Provides waiver relief to key U.S. partners and allies from certain Russian-related sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act; and
• Strengthens cyber defenses, prioritizes U.S. Cyber Command readiness and affirms the cyber authorities of the secretary of defense.
Now that we know the Congress is capable of working together in a bipartisan way for the good of the nation, let us hope they will continue to do so over the many other vitals issues still waiting for a vote.
President Donald Trump signs the John McCain National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Year 2019, during a signing ceremony Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, in Fort Drum, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)