Wilson Votes to Support American Military in The War on Terror

May 20, 2004
Press Release
Bipartisan Defense Authorization Bill provides $2 billion of equipment, numerous quality of life improvements and important benefits for Guard and Reserve
Today, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) applauded the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (H.R. 4200). Congressman Wilson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, worked with committee members and Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Ca.) on the $422 billion legislation which sets policies, programs and funding levels for the nation’s military. The bill passed overwhelmingly with a bipartisan vote of 391-34. “This bill provides our troops with the equipment and resources they need to successfully fight the War on Terror,” said Congressman Wilson. “I am very proud that with the leadership of Chairman Duncan Hunter, we have passed bipartisan legislation that sends a clear signal of support to our military.” “H.R. 4200 also provides important benefits to our Guard and Reserve. They and their families have made extraordinary sacrifices, and the health and income provisions in this bill will help to ease that burden.” Watch Congressman Wilson speak in favor of the bill on the House Floor. “Like other veterans and military parents, I am particularly proud of the courageous men and women defending freedom today. They have liberated millions from hostile regimes and given us important victories in the War on Terror,” said Congressman Wilson. The bill provides more than $2 billion for equipment to protect our troops, including: · $829.6 million for production of Up-Armored Humvees, which provide protection for soldiers from anti-personnel, armor piercing munitions and improvised explosive devices (IEDs); · $358.2 million for Vehicle Add-On Armor Kits for the Army’s truck fleet; and · Over $400 million for new body armor, including add-on covering for the shoulder and side body areas. H.R. 4200 includes numerous quality of life improvements for our men and women in uniform. Such as: · A 3.5 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the armed forces; · Increasing the maximum amount of hardship duty pay from $300 to $750 per month; · Making permanent the increased rates for imminent danger pay, from $150 per month to $225 per month, and family separation allowance, from $100 per month to $250 per month; · Extending through December 31, 2005 several special pays and bonuses for active duty members and reservists; · Elimination of out-of-pocket housing expenses; and · Elimination of the Social Security offset under the Survivor Benefit Plan. H.R. 4200 also includes the following Guard and Reserve provisions: · Enlistment, reenlistment, and retention bonus equity for deployed reservists to ensure they are paid using the same authority used to pay active duty members; · Up to $3,000 per month in income replacement payments for reservists who experience a reduction in their income while away from their civilian jobs; · The eligibility of reservists and their family members to receive TRICARE health benefits up to 90 days before the date on which the reservist’s period of active duty is to begin; and · Providing reservists and their families up to 180 days of health care following separation from active duty. ###