Thornberry weighs in on impact of NDAA

Thornberry weighs in on impact of NDAA

Amarillo, TX - Representative Mac Thornberry says the Pantex strike coming to an end will have no affect on the impact of one bill.

The bill would authorize nearly $612 billion in spending for national defense and here locally, Thornberry says we would see a large portion of those funds.

The NDAA is a law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense.

Currently, the law authorized the DOD to spend $607 billion in fiscal year 2014. But Congressman Thornberry says this is not enough.

"It authorizes 8.8 billion dollars for nuclear weapons activities, much of which occurs here at Pantex," says Thornberry. "It has specific, set aside funds so those workers that are going back to work at Pantex today can look forward to improved facilities in which to work. They've been neglected for too long, we try to help improve that in this bill."

While it will strongly impact local companies Pantex and Bell Helicopter, Thornberry tells us the military will see a huge portion of the funds...that is, should the bill see President Obama's desk.

"In addition it has a pay raise for the troops, it has a new retirement system for the military," says Thornberry. "83 percent of the people who serve in the military walk away with retirement. We change that in this bill. To veto this bill would be bad for us in the panhandle, it would be bad for our troops and especially if you look at what's going on around the world today...Syria, China, Iran Russia, Ukrain, all of that. It would be a huge mistake for the world to see that our president won't even help stand up and defend the country."

Thornberry believes votes for the bill will be overwhelmingly in favor. However, he says if a veto were to occur, the consequences may be heavy...especially here in the panhandle.

"We lose a lot here locally," says Thornberry. "There would continue to be work here at Bell and Pantex, just at a steady state. But the increases for the additional V-22s, the additional infrastructure funding at Pantex, the improved care through the VA and the DOD systems would not occur if the president vetoes this bill."

A decision on whether to move forward will come this week. Thornberry says the outcome will mirror us as a country.

"What the world needs to see from us is that we stand behind our troops and that our government can function and we can stand up and defend ourselves."

Funding for national defense will remain at current levels until December 11th.