Rep. Cook Votes for Key National Security Legislation
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for the annual national security bill, which maintains benefits for active duty service members and assures the readiness of our troops. The bill now moves to the Senate and will then be sent to the President.
Most importantly, the bill provides a 2.1% pay increase to our men and women in the US Armed Forces. This will reduce the widening pay gap created by the President, who unilaterally cut the pay raise in each of the previous three years. The bill also prevents further cuts to the Basic Allowance for Housing, which provides servicemembers with housing compensation based on housing costs when government quarters are not provided. It also protects military health care by making no changes to out-of-pocket costs for the current force or retirees.
This year’s bill also takes the necessary steps to restore military readiness: It stops the reduction of military forces at a time of new and greater threats to our nation. It addresses shortcomings in Marine Corps aviation readiness, allowing for more training hours for pilots and much needed maintenance to rapidly aging aircraft. It increases the number of training rotations that will come through the National Training Center at Fort Irwin and fully funds depot-level maintenance, such as the type provided by Marine Corps Logistics Base-Barstow.
Rep Cook said, “This year’s bill makes substantial enhancements to military readiness while also ensuring we’re taking care of our troops and our veterans. It gives our troops the pay raise they deserve, while ensuring we aren’t raising costs on retirees or those currently in the force.”
A member of the House Armed Services, Natural Resources, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.