President Obama has signed the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act and the bipartisan budget deal. The defense bill will give military personnel a 1% pay raise, addresses sexual assault reforms and Guantanamo Bay. The budget deal prevents a shutdown for 2 years while providing an estimated $85 billion in savings.
Excerpt from President’s statement on the signing of the Defense bill:
Today I have signed into law H.R. 3304, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.” I have signed this annual defense authorization legislation because it will provide pay and bonuses for our service members, enhance counterterrorism initiatives abroad, build the security capacity of key partners, and expand efforts to prevent sexual assault and strengthen protections for victims.
Highlights of Defense Bill
- 1% military personnel pay raise and provides for bonuses such as combat pay
- Eases the Executive offices’ ability to transfer detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba
- $526 billion military budget
- $80.7 billion for war in Afghanistan and overseas operations
- Enhances counterterrorism efforts overseas
- Builds security capacities of key U.S. partner-nations
- Stricter reforms to Pentagon’s sexual assault policies in the military. Including:
- New legal protections and counseling for victims
- Commanders barred from overturning or reducing convictions
- Requires those convicted to be be discharged or dismissed
Highlights of Budget Deal
- Prevents another shutdown for 2 years
- Reduces effects of automatic budget cuts by about one-third ($63 billion over 2 years)
- A projected $85 billion in savings will be created through both increases in taxes and fees and reductions in spending
- Increases in airport security tax ($12 billion) and fees corporations pay to have pensions guaranteed by the government ($12.6 billion)
- Reduced cost of living increases for military retirees under age 62
- $63 billion more in discretionary programs for defense, education, transportation and environmental programs.