The following information has been obtained by our Veterans Affairs Chairman, Bob Mott, from Colonel David B. Lobb, US Army, Retired.

Col. Lobb is the President of the Military Officers Association of America.

      Date: May 24, 2016 8:09 AM

       Subject: Fwd: Key Military votes

       President Papineau Thought all Vets would find these Emails interesting.   

          Robert J Mott USA Ret AOH PND PNO
           Veteran Affairs Chairman

Sent: 5/23/2016 2:15:59 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

Subj: Key Military votes

Fiscal 2017 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs and Fiscal 2017 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations – Passage - Vote Passed (90-8, 2 Not Voting)

The military construction and veterans part of the bill would provide a total $177.4 billion in both discretionary and mandatory funding for the VA, including increases for health care, benefit claims processing, medical and prosthetic research and homeless veterans assistance. The transportation section of the bill would provide $56.5 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2017 for the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development departments and related agencies. The overall measure also provides $1.1 billion in emergency funds to combat the Zika virus.

Sen. Lindsey Graham voted YES Sen. Tim Scott voted YES

Fiscal 2017 Defense Authorization – Passage - Vote Passed (277-147, 9 Not Voting)

The bill authorizes $602.2 billion for discretionary defense spending in fiscal 2017, including $543.4 billion for the Pentagon's base, non-war budget that is subject to spending caps. It also includes $58.8 billion for uncapped Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for war operations and other anti-terror activities but provides that $23.1 billion of that total be used for non-war, base defense budget needs, including $18 billion for aircraft, ships and other items.

Rep. Clyburn voted No all others Reps. voted YES

Fiscal 2017 Military-Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations – Passage - Vote Passed (295-129, 9 Not Voting)

The measure provides a total of $81.5 billion in discretionary spending for fiscal 2017 to fund military construction projects and programs of the Veterans Affairs Department and provides $102.5 billion in mandatory spending for fiscal 2017 and $172 million in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

Rep. Clyburn voted No all others Reps. voted YES

Kind regards,

David B. Lobb
COL USA (ret)
SC MOAA Council

A bigger Army, military pay raise: White House says no, House votes yes
Leo Shane III,
Military Times 11:56 p.m. EDT May 18, 2016

House lawmakers have brushed aside Democrat objections and White House threats to pass their controversial $583 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal 2017, setting up a summer-long negotiation with their Senate counterparts over military policy and priorities.
The measure calls for a 2.1 percent military pay raise starting next January, a big boost in Army personnel and an overhaul of the military medical care system. Lawmakers voted 277-147 in favor of the bill after two days of debate.
Notes by DL: vote total is almost veto proof, no BRAC in 2017, bill number is HR4909
The authorization plan, coupled with a pending defense appropriations bill, would shift $18 billion in temporary war funds into the base defense budget to pay for what Republicans call unmet military needs. That keeps spending loosely within parameters set up by Congress and the White House, part of a two-year budget deal reached last fall.
But such a move would leave overseas missions without funding past next April, and create billions more in future infrastructure and personnel costs in coming years. White House and Pentagon officials have criticized the plan, saying it amounts to “gambling” with military spending. President Obama has threatened to veto it.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, says financial fixes are needed immediately. “Just think about what the alternative is: ‘No, we’re not going to help troops now, because we’re not sure where the money is going to come from next year or in five years or in 10 years,’” he said. “But in the meantime, while we’re not sure about all of that … more people stand in danger of losing their lives.”
So far, Senate Republicans have declined to go along with their House counterparts’ funding plan. They’ll take up their own draft on the Senate floor next week and, if passed, send the two versions of the annual legislation to a conference committee in early June.
Democrats who objected to the measure took issue with its final cost, the authorization governing operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and restrictions related to closing the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
They objected when language was dropped from the bill that would have required women to register for the Selective Service System, a provision that has support in the Senate, and to wording that states federal contractors cannot be discriminated against on the basis of religion. That provision, critics say, legitimizes discrimination against gay and bisexual employees.
House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith, D-Wash., said those points of conflict forced him to vote against the measure.
“They have misused the rules process to avoid votes on women’s equality, labor laws, and taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT individuals, while adding further restrictions on transfers from the Guantanamo detention facility, cutting funds for nuclear nonproliferation, and adopting a range of other highly problematic provisions,” he said in a statement.
The House authorization also includes pieces from the services’ $22 billion list of “unfunded priorities.” There's $1.4 billion for 14 F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, and $1.5 billion for 11 additional F-35s. The Air Force would get five more F-35As, and the Marine Corps would get two extra F-35Bs.
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, ripped into Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh for not having an effective close air support replacement for the A-10.
For the third consecutive year, the panel rejected an Air Force plan to retire its aging A-10 attack planes. Instead, it requires the service to maintain at least 171 Warthogs and bars significant manning cuts to any A-10 units.
For the Army, the bill authorizes an extra $700 million for helicopter buys, $150 million more for two V-22 Ospreys and $95 million more for one MQ-4C Triton, a surveillance drone being developed by the Navy. There's funding, too, for a new littoral combat ship, a new amphibious ship, and the remaining balance for destroyer partially funded last year.
President Obama has threatened to veto the annual defense authorization bill each of the eight years of his presidency, but followed for the first time last year. Only 40 Democrats voted for the measure in the Republican controlled House. The 142 Democrats who voted against it would almost be enough to prevent an override of a presidential veto.
Final congressional passage of the measure isn’t expected until this fall.

Kind regards,

David B. Lobb
COL USA (ret)
President SC MOAA Council
Cell: 1-803-270-8690

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