WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today applauded the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a critical authorization bill that supports our nation’s troops, their families, and our military installations. The bill now heads to the President for his signature.
“If there’s one thing we should be able to agree on, it’s supporting our men and women in uniform who’ve fought so hard to protect us here at home and abroad,” Pryor said. “Senator Boozman was a great partner as we fought to help our state’s military installations, honor our brave soldiers, and save Arkansans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars. I hope we’ll see even more of this bipartisanship in the year to come.”
“Passing this bill is an important step to ensuring that our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to protect our national security,” Boozman said. “Working together, the Arkansas delegation has done a great job of securing the resources and creating a level playing field to ensure that Arkansas remains an important contributor to our nation’s defense.”
Highlights of the bill include:
• Funding for the Arkansas National Guard: The Arkansas National Guard is authorized to receive $21,000,000 to construct a Scout/Reconnaissance Gunnery Complex at Fort Chaffee.
• Honors for Little Rock soldiers: Pryor and Boozman secured a provision directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to review the eligibility for a Purple Heart for Private William Long and Private Quinton Ezeaqwula, Arkansas service members who were attacked outside of a Little Rock Army recruiting center in 2009 in an act of homegrown terrorism.
• Support for the Pine Bluff Arsenal: Included in the bill is a provision, cosponsored by Pryor and Boozman, that directs the DoD to conduct an extensive report on arsenals, their capabilities, and how the DoD can better use them. Pryor also sponsored a measure that requires the DoD to consider arsenal capabilities when fulfilling manufacturing requirements. Under his provision, the DoD is also required to notify arsenals when there is solicitation of work that the arsenal is capable of doing.
• Cost-efficient defense contracts: Pryor and Boozman sponsored a measure prohibiting the Navy from awarding sole-source $1 billion contracts. By opening up contracts for competition, their provision ensures taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively.