House clears way for $604.2 billion Defense Authorization Act

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) joined fellow members of the House last week in passing the Conference Report to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016, which authorizes $604.2 billion in funding for the nation’s defense and armed forces.

The report was written by conferees who were selected in June to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. 

Specifically, the annual legislation would now provide $515 billion for national defense and $89.2 billion for overseas contingency operations. 

With $715 million in security assistance earmarked for Iraqi forces combatting ISIS, Shuster said the legislation is crucial in the ongoing fight against ISIS. 

“It is tough to watch the news these days as we are seeing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria grow, the Taliban retake ground in Afghanistan, and Syria in shambles,” Shuster said. “The president’s failure to lead on the world stage has allowed much of this to happen, and it won’t get better unless our military is taking an active role in not only slowing our enemies – but in destroying them.”

It also authorizes funds to Jordan for border security and military capabilities, and allows the Secretary of Defense to establish a pilot program to counter ISIS’ propaganda efforts, helping America win the narrative in the online battle against terror.