Capitol Connection E-Newsletter

Washington, Jul 26, 2013 -

House Approves National Defense Funding Measure
This week, the House passed legislation to provide funding for our nation’s military for Fiscal Year 2014. Specifically, the bill provides $512.5 billion for national defense programs as well as $85 billion for continuing overseas operations. The measure restores funding for critical programs cut as a result of sequestration, while making common-sense reductions in other areas of the defense budget that will not impact our military’s readiness or effectiveness. 

To support our troops at home and across the world, the measure funds a 1.8% military pay raise – above the President’s initial 1% request. The defense bill also allocates $33.6 billion for health programs for our soldiers, military families, and veterans, including $125 million for traumatic brain injury research and $20 million for suicide prevention outreach efforts. To address the disturbing and rising incidence of sexual violence in the military, the FY 2014 funding measure fully funds the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program at $157 million, and provides an additional $25 million to expand assistance programs for victims of sexual assault.

As we move forward to address the security challenges facing our nation and consider funding priorities, it is important that we work to protect Americans at home and abroad. While the appropriations process for the upcoming fiscal year progresses, I will remain committed to ensuring that our troops have all of the resources they need to fight for the safety of our nation and to return home safely.

Rep. Miller Supports Critical Civil Liberties Amendment to Defense Funding Bill
Our government must have the resources it needs to secure our nation from those who wish to cause us harm. At the same time, steps to protect the United States from terrorism and other threats to our national security must not undermine our constitutional rights.  The National Security Agency’s (NSA) blanket collection of Americans’ phone records has tipped the balance between national security and the preservation of our civil liberties. This practice must end immediately.

On Wednesday, I voted for an amendment to the FY 2014 defense funding bill that would prohibit the NSA from indiscriminately collecting the phone records of millions of Americans. Specifically, the amendment would limit the agency’s ability to obtain this information to only those individuals who are actively under investigation. Despite receiving significant bipartisan support, the amendment was narrowly defeated.

Despite the defeat of the amendment, this is a debate that Congress must continue to have. We must meet the challenge of terrorism with careful regard for the fundamental civil liberties of Americans. As this important debate continues, I want you to know that I will work with my colleagues to protect our nation from threats at home and abroad while upholding the principles of freedom and liberty enshrined in our Constitution.

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