Washington, D.C.—Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued the following statement after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on a strong bi-partisan vote.
“The Defense Authorization Act will give our service members the tools and resources they need to protect our nation overseas and to protect themselves as they work in some of the planet’s most dangerous regions. The measure passed by Congress today continues our efforts to ensure adequate pay, improve health care and other benefits, and provide state-of-the-art war-fighting technologies for the men and women of our Armed Forces. Our troops deserve nothing less than our full support, whether they are serving far from home over the holidays, or just coming back after long deployments in areas of conflict.
“Throughout this debate, I have raised concerns about a few provisions in this legislation, particularly those relating to the detention of terrorism suspects and a provision that would negatively impact civil rights protections in the TRICARE health care program. I have worked with my colleagues to address these concerns and some progress has been made to improve each of these provisions. Yet, concerns still remain, and I will be pressing the Administration to implement these provisions in ways that enhance our national security and minimize potential negative impacts.
“While this piece of legislation is not perfect, the Defense Authorization bill represents a major accomplishment in support of our troops. This is the 50th consecutive year that Congress has passed legislation authorizing our nation’s defense activities, and I look forward to maintaining this strong record of support in the future.”