Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson last night supported passage of H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. This legislation fulfills the constitutional responsibility of Congress to provide for the common defense by funding the Department of Defense.
“I am very pleased to see the NDAA pass, and particularly for the recognition of the A-10’s importance in the bill and its unique and invaluable contributions to the armed forces,” said Simpson. “The fight against ISIS has once again shown the value of the A-10 in close air support missions and this bill ensures they remain available as a tool for our brave men and women in combat. There will be a time when they will need to be replaced. However, until an appropriate replacement can be identified, it continues to merit our support.”
The FY17 NDAA contains language preventing the retirement of the A-10 Thunderbolt II, which currently operates at Gowen Field in Boise. Additionally, it prohibits the Secretary of the Air Force from reducing A-10 squadrons until results from comparative testing and evaluation between the capabilities of the F-35 and A-10 are submitted to Congress.
The bill also provides for a 2.1% pay raise for over 1.3 million active-duty and 830,000 Guard and Reserve troops.
H.R. 4909 passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 277-147.