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Cotton Statement on Senate Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

October 7, 2015

Contact: Caroline Rabbitt (202) 224-2353 

Washington, D.C.-Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today released the following statement on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:

"Today Congress fulfilled one of its most important duties: to provide for a common defense. This bill rightly gives our military additional funding to ensure our national-security strategy can once again begin to drive our military budget, rather than the budget setting our strategy. And it takes important steps toward removing wasteful, inefficient spending on projects that yield little benefit.

"Arkansas and America will be safer and stronger because of several provisions in this bill. First, this legislation provides for the ability to explore additional uses for arsenal land in Jefferson County the Army is no longer using. This will allow for new development opportunities while maintaining important safeguards that ensure the Pine Bluff Arsenal will continue to play a vital role in our nation's defense. It also protects Arkansas from any base closures by declining President Obama's request of authority for another Base Realignment and Closure round.

"This bill also rightly provides additional support for the fight against ISIS in Iraq and allocates additional funds for lethal assistance to Ukraine. And it seeks to better protect against Russian aggression by directing the Department of Defense to submit a plan for possible military responses to Russia's continued violation of the INF treaty-the nuclear arms control agreement that has been the bedrock of stability in Europe since 1987. Finally, the bill contains an amendment I offered to strengthen the reporting requirements for Guantanamo Bay detainee transfers by giving Congress more insights into how detainees will be monitored after they are transferred. The individuals housed at Guantanamo Bay are hardened terrorists and we must ensure any transferred detainee does not return to the fight and once again threaten the United States.

"This legislation puts our national defense on the right track and lets our aggressors know they will pay an unspeakable price for challenging the United States. Regrettably, President Obama has already promised to veto this bill-illustrating he prioritizes political talking points over our troops and our national security. Military strength and moral confidence in the defense of America's national security are critical to our prosperity. The President should sign this bill immediately."