Congress's most important constitutional duty is to provide for the common defense. This week we passed the National Defense Authorization Act to reform, repair and rebuild our military. For the past decade, we have been just getting by - cutting resources as the world becomes more dangerous and putting off tough choices. This week we decisively ended that trend.
Our bill increases defense spending by 10%, provides for thousands of additional personnel to counter the depletion of our military under the previous Administration and increases missile defense funding by $2.5 billion to ensure we can protect our homeland from threats posed by advanced, long-range missiles.
The bill also includes two provisions that I wrote and sponsored:
The Oath of Exit creates a voluntary separation oath for members of the Armed Forces aimed at reducing veteran suicide. Throughout our lives, the most important commitments we make are spoken - whether its an oath upon joining the military, vows at a wedding or saying the pledge of allegiance. Integrity is more than just a word to service members, so I know if we say we’ll look out for each other and ourselves, we’ll do it. This Oath of Exit is a strong step forward in doing anything and everything we can to prevent even one more veteran from harming themselves.
The U.S. - Israel Joint Missile Defense Act further develops the Arrow 3 system to help advance America's interests in the Middle East and protect our vital ally Israel. I chose to volunteer alongside the Israeli Defense Forces because there is undoubtedly a benefit in our two countries working together to spread the values of freedom and democracy. Collaborating on security through missile defense is critical to stability not just in the Middle East, but also throughout the world. Getting our bipartisan bill passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act is a big win in the fight against terror.
This is just the beginning of my work to ensure our military is equipped to confront the threats and challenges of the 21st century.