U.S. Congressman Steve Knight | E-Newsletter
Op-Ed | May 15. 2015 Click here if you have trouble viewing this email
U.S. Congressman Steve Knight
For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Outlaw
Thursday May 15, 2015 (202) 225-1956
Defense Authorization Bill Essential to our Country and Our Communities

By Congressman Steve Knight

Today I voted for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, which passed the House by a vote of 269-151. This bill authorizes national defense programs and is essential in keeping Americans safe at home and overseas. I am proud of the legislation my colleagues and I passed out of the House today because it not only gives our men and women in uniform the resources they need to protect our country, but it also does a great deal to benefit the communities I represent.
This year’s NDAA is very supportive of our men and women in uniform, something I have stressed every step of the way as an enlisted veteran of the United States Army. It provides a 2.3% pay raise for active duty servicemembers and creates portable 401k-like retirement plan to ensure that our men and women in uniform are able to provide for themselves and their families far into the future. Additionally, it retains a housing allowance for troops who live off base, maintains funding for commissaries, and increases financial literacy training so that servicemembers can maintain a good quality of life that they desire and deserve. It also aims to improve collaboration between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to better support service members’ transition to civilian life so that as veterans they are able to receive the care they deserve after service. 

The legislation will  help small businesses by including several provisions that to reform the defense procurement and contracting process at the Department of Defense so that smaller companies can be more competitive. One provision happens to be a bill I authored, H.R. 1390- the Small Business Joint Venturing Act. It would give small businesses a better chance to compete for federal contracts by allowing them to form joint ventures and work together while maintaining their small business status. Currently in the 25th District, we have around 450 small firms actively seeking federal government contracts and this bill will help them to compete with larger firms. I am excited that our national defense policy will be mindful of helping small businesses and strengthening our industrial base. 

The NDAA also has several pieces that are helpful for our communities. Most notably, it would help revitalize our region’s legendary aerospace manufacturing sector by creating jobs for the numerous local companies in our district that build aircraft components for many platforms. For example, it would add 57 new F-35 aircraft and a new MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aerial System, both of which are built in part in the Santa Clarita Valley and the Antelope Valley. It also supports the upcoming Long Range Strike Bomber that will have a substantial economic impact on our region. All of these provisions will help our communities, our economy, and our military.

I’m glad that my colleagues in Congress recognize the importance of this bi-partisan legislation to our service members, small businesses, and everyday citizens. Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution lists 17 separate powers that are granted to the Congress, six of which deal exclusively with the national defense. Without a strong national defense, our way of life becomes threatened and our enemies become emboldened. That is why I supported this defense authorization bill that provides for our military and ensures our strength in the world.

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Representative Steve Knight, (R-Antelope Valley), represents California's 25th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives, which includes the communities throughout the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi Valleys.

Washington, DC Office
1023 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1956
Fax: (202) 226-0683
Palmdale Office
1008 West Avenue M-14
Suite E
Palmdale, CA 93551
Phone: (661) 441-0320
Simi Valley District Office
1445 E. Los Angeles Avenue #206
Simi Valley, CA 93065
(805) 581-7130
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