What the Defense Bill Means for Texas
by John Cornyn on August 2, 2018 at 12:30 PM
Recently the final John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 conference report passed the Senate, and it will now head to the President’s desk for signature. You can read the final conference report here, and below is a summary of the bill’s impact on Texas:
- Raises troops’ pay by 2.6%, the largest pay raise for our military in nearly 10 years.
- Restores focus on military readiness training with increased funding for training in each Service, including increased flying hours.
- Authorizes $140 million for military construction projects in Texas, including a new Basic Military Training dormitory at Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland and a new warehouse at Red River Army Depot.
- Supports the President’s budget request for 77 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and authorizes the Department to procure additional F-35 aircraft, should additional funds become available utilizing cost savings and program efficiencies.
- Prioritizes access to high quality public education for military children through increased DOD supplemental impact aid, especially for disabled military children.
- Establishes a federal grant program for infrastructure around military communities which will directly support Texas’ Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG) Program
- Invests in the Armed Services Blood Program at Fort Bliss so they can better provide blood components to military medical treatment facilities worldwide.
- Begins to build Cyber Institutes at Senior Military Colleges such as Texas A&M by directing the Secretary of Defense to establish such institutes at certain schools.
- Modernizes infrastructure at Pantex Plant in Amarillo and other nuclear laboratories by directing the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to submit a plan for sustaining and modernizing such plants
- Invests in our legacy fighter aircraft such as the F-16s flown by the 301st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Fort Worth and the 149th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard
- Funds development of next-generation B-21 bomber, which Dyess AFB is competing for future basing.