Wilson Statement on the National Defense Authorization Act
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement in regards to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, legislation to be voted under suspension today.
“Congress has a responsibility to protect our brave men and women serving in uniform, veterans, and military families. The substantial reforms and priorities achieved in the 52nd consecutive National Defense Authorization Act would not be possible without the tireless leadership of House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am very grateful for the progress made to combat criminal sexual assault in the military. When this bill hopefully becomes law, the victims of these hateful crimes will be better protected and the accused will be brought to justice for their actions. Additional requirements will allow us to honor the commitments we’ve made to our service members. Their unwavering service to our nation continues to keep American families safe and our freedoms preserved,” Congressman Joe Wilson said.
List of provisions:
· Over 30 reforms to combat criminal sexual assault in the military: Strips commanders of their authority to dismiss a guilty finding by a court martial; Significantly limits commanders’ ability to modify court-marital sentences; Establishes minimum sentences for sexual assault related offices and eliminates the five-year statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault; Reforms the Article 32 process to properly focus on probable cause and protects the victim from destructive fishing expeditions; Provides dedicated legal assistance to victims through Special Victims’ Counsels and whistleblower protection to victims of sexual assault. These provisions are necessary to better protect those who risk their lives to protect us.
· Authorizes funds to keep the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MOX) at the Savannah River Site on its path to completion. This project, which turns plutonium from nuclear bombs into energy, is essential in protecting our national security and honoring our international obligations.
· Rejects the Administrations request to force military retirees to pay more for healthcare by raising TRICARE enrollment fees.
· Supersedes the Administrations refusal to honor our fallen military heroes by awarding the victims of Fort Hood, Texas, and Little Rock (Arkansas) Recruiting Station shootings the Purple Heart.
Chairman Joe Wilson also delivered a floor speech in support of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. Click here to view the speech in its entirety.