(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Airland Subcommittee, today released the following statement upon final passage in an 89-11 vote of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets policy and spending levels for the Department of Defense.
“Today’s vote is a victory for our nation and for Connecticut—for Coltsville, for our state’s proud defense industry, for our men and women in uniform who serve and sacrifice for our country, and for our national security. This landmark bill will expand jobs here and nationwide through smart, sustained investment in Connecticut’s industrial base, which continues to produce the most advanced, capable weapon systems available worldwide.
“Today’s vote means workers at Electric Boat will continue to build two Virginia-class submarines a year, workers at Pratt & Whitney will build the engines for more than 30 Joint Strike Fighters, and workers at Sikorsky will build more than 100 helicopters to ensure that our servicemen and women have the best equipment in the world.
“Additionally today’s vote brings new critical protections for victims of military sexual assault and an enhanced role for mental health professionals to ensure the fair treatment of military personnel during discharge and dismissal processes. Today’s vote also brings expansion of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program to allow Afghans who bravely served as interpreters and translators alongside our servicemen and women the opportunities they deserve to relocate and escape harm and retribution in their homeland. These are provisions I helped to lead, and I am proud of their inclusion in this comprehensive measure.”
The measure supports the following priority programs that Blumenthal fought to support:
The bill establishes a new unit of the National Park System within the Coltsville Historic District