Hanna includes 2 amendments, provides stability for DFAS & Rome Lab

Richard Hanna

Richard Hanna

The House of Representatives Thursday passed the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017, which determined there will be no military base realignments or closures in 2018 and it includes a number of provisions to assist upstate New York’s service members and veterans.

The Base Realignment and Closure process, commonly referred to as BRAC, closes excess military installations.This bill prohibits a BRAC round from being authorized or carried out in 2018. This is especially important for facilities located at the former Griffiss Air Force Base – Rome Lab, the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS), and the Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) site. To support our Southern Tier economy, this bill also invests in the multiservice F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, components of which are produced in Owego.

U.S. Representative Richard Hanna voted in favor of the NDAA, an annual bill which is necessary to perform some of the most basic and essential responsibilities of Congress – such as funding our Armed Forces and national defenses and paying the salaries of our servicemen and women.

“This important legislation is a critical measure that will bring security to our critical Mohawk Valley defense installations, sustain jobs in the Southern Tier, and provide continued support for our service members and their families,” Rep. Hanna said. “It means no BRAC in 2018 and provides our armed services with the resources they need to respond to a diverse range of national security threats. The NDAA also gives our troops a well-deserved raise and overhauls the TRICARE health program for future enrollees while ensuring that current beneficiaries see no change to their existing plans. I am especially pleased to have included two amendments in this bill that improve our country’s defenses against cyberattacks.

“I am disappointed that a discriminatory measure included in this bill could compromise LGBT employment rights in federal contracting,” Rep. Hanna continued. “I worked with my colleagues in the House to support a bipartisan amendment that would strip this troublesome language from the bill. Unfortunately, House leaders did not allow this amendment to come to the floor for a fair and open debate. Language that restricts workplace protections for LGBT employees has no place in the NDAA, or any bill for that matter.  I will continue to push for this language to be struck from the bill as the NDAA goes to conference and compromise legislation is worked out by the House and Senate.”

Among the highlights of the bill:

DFAS and Rome Lab: This bill prohibits a BRAC round in 2018, which means that our region’s defense installations can rest assured that their vital work will continue in upstate New York. It also includes a 2 percent increase overall for Rome Lab (research and maintenance funding) and a 2 percent increase in the Lab’s research funds.

Southern Tier Economy: This bill includes $11.6 billion for 74 additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter planes, further research and development, and modifications to existing aircraft.  Key components of this groundbreaking aircraft are being developed at Lockheed Martin’s Owego facility, which includes a Manufacturing Center of Excellence and employs more than 2,500 people.

Funding for Overseas Operations: This legislation authorizes $150 million to provide weaponry to Ukraine, $412 million to train and arm Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State, $250 million for the Syria Train and Equip program, and $3.4 billion to train and equip Afghan Armed Forces.

Guantanamo Bay: The bill continues to restrict the President’s ability to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.  It also prohibits the use of funds to construct or modify a facility in the U.S. to house detainees.

TROOP PROVISIONS: This bill provides our war fighters and their families with the support they need, deserve and have earned. Among them:

–       PAY: This bill authorizes a 2.1 percent pay increase for our men and women in uniform, and provides funding for 20,000 additional personnel for the U.S. Army. The additional funding is potentially beneficial to Fort Drum in Northern New York and 4,000 additional Air Force personnel.

–       TRICARE: This bill includes an overhaul to the DoD TRICARE System, creating a two-tiered TRICARE health program for new service members. TRICARE is the health benefits program for active duty personnel and other beneficiaries, including dependents of active duty personnel, military retirees, and dependents of retirees.


Rep. Hanna included two amendments in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act:

Army National Guard Cyber Report: This amendment will ensure that Army National Guard Cyber Protection Teams (CPT) are fully integrated into the Department of Defense’s cyber mission force and would require the Secretary of the Army to brief members of Congress on a strategy for such inclusion within 180 days.  New York’s Army National Guard formed a joint Cyber Protection Team with New Jersey’s Army National Guard in 2015.  To ensure that this Cyber Protection Team is fully operational as soon as possible, it is vital that Army National Guard teams be incorporated into the cyber mission force to enhance access to key training programs.

Small Business Cyber Assistance: This amendment directs the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration to develop a joint “Small Business Development Center Cyber Strategy.”  This strategy would provide guidance to Small Business Development Centers, outlining potential policies and approaches for leveraging existing federal resources to streamline cyber assistance to small businesses.  This amendment will ultimately provide Small Business Development Centers with the tools, resources, and expert guidance they need to better meet the 21st century needs of small businesses.

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