Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that President Bush signed into law the conference report on H.R. 5122, the FY 2007 Defense Authorization bill. The measure includes a number of key priorities that Democrats have been fighting for over the last three years to improve our military readiness and to provide for our troops.
Key Democratic priorities contained in the conference report include: improving military readiness, providing health care for reservists, improving military pay for senior enlisted personnel and warrant officers, and blocking the President's proposed increase in TRICARE pharmacy copayments.
“As I stated in a previous release, the conference report authorizes a 2.2 percent pay raise, effective January 1, 2007, and includes a Democratic proposal, led by Rep. John Spratt, to provide targeted pay raises for mid-grade and senior NCOs and warrant officers, effective April 1, 2007. This is good news for American Samoa’s military men and women and I am pleased that they will be receiving this pay raise.”
‘The conference report also authorizes a $70 billion supplemental for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $23.7 billion to replace and reset equipment lost or damaged in operations. For three years, Democrats have been pushing Congress to increase our military readiness by replacing the military equipment being lost in the Iraqi war in order to rebuild a state-of-the-art military, and we are pleased that these provisions were included.”
“Democrats were also successful in making sure provisions were included to expand TRICARE services and to stop any increases in retail pharmaceutical prices under the TRICARE system for a period of one year. Like my colleagues, I am pleased by these outcomes and I stand committed to making sure we have a military that is second to none and I applaud the efforts of my Democratic colleagues in making sure these crucial provisions were included in the DOD Reauthorization bill. Most of all I thank our military men and women for their heroic service,” Faleomavaega concluded.