Wilson Praises House Passage of NDAA

Jul 14, 2017
Press Release

Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) praised the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“Today’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act marks a victory for service members, military families, and American families. Under the remarkable leadership of Chairman Mac Thornberry, this year’s National Defense Authorization Act truly begins to right the course—back to responsibility by enacting key accounting reforms at the Department of Defense and making necessary investments to restore military readiness. Our efforts fulfill pledges by President Donald Trump to rebuild the military.

"As a veteran, as a military father, I’m confident this year’s NDAA will chart a new course. This year’s bill is a meaningful step forward in the tradition of George Washington, who stated: "To be prepared for war is the most effectual means of preserving the peace."

"The primary function of the national government is to provide for the common defense—to ensure that our service members have the training, equipment, and resources they need to complete the mission. This year’s bill does just that." 

Congressman Wilson also introduced several amendments and advocated on the House floor for key provisions of this year's NDAA:

On Readiness: 

Over the past several months we have heard testimony from every military service branch about the urgent need to address the alarming readiness shortfalls. Their testimonies were sobering, confirming Congress must take bold action. Here today, we have the responsibility of reducing the risk to our soldiers by making sure that they are well-trained, supported, and that the equipment they use is properly maintained and combat-ready. 

None of these readiness provisions are arbitrary. They are specifically targeted to stop and, as much as possible, begin to reverse the decline in the readiness of our Armed Forces so that they can continue to combat and deter the threats to our national security from around the world.

On North Korea:

I am grateful to introduce an amendment to this year’s NDAA that expresses a clear sense of Congress—we will not tolerate the escalation by the regime in North Korea, testing ballistic missiles or developing a nuclear weapon. The amendment also reaffirms the strong commitment of the United States to our allies in the region, especially South Korea, Japan, and Australia. 

It is clear that the regime in North Korea will only respond to strength—and this sense of Congress strongly states our commitment to keeping all options on the table when it comes to addressing the threat from North Korea, whether it be military, diplomatic, or economic. 

On Keeping Guantanamo Bay Open: 

I have visited Guantanamo Bay twice and I know first-hand --the detainees as Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst, terrorists who are conspirators of Osama bin Laden, trained mass murders, and extremists who have a sole intention of harming Americans and destroying our way of life. 

As we have seen the proliferation of terrorists around the world—from Algeria and North Africa, though the Middle East, all the way to South Asia and the Philippines, the deterrence of incarceration, and maintaining the facility at Guantanamo Bay, has never been more important. 

On Opposing Base Closures:

Now is not the time to consider a Base Realignment and Closure round. In the past, BRAC has been used without conducting a thorough study, incurred significant costs, and jeopardized valuable military communities, like those in the Midlands surrounding Fort Jackson, or the Aiken-Barnwell community adjacent to Fort Gordon.