Tester statement on National Defense Authorization Act

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today issued the following statement after voting for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“This bill does right by our nation’s servicemembers and their families. It authorizes well-deserved pay raises, improves the military’s prevention and response efforts to sexual assault, prohibits another harmful round of base closures, and strengthens the ban on torture. However, I remain concerned this legislation irresponsibly authorizes billions of dollars in off-the-books overseas spending, so I will continue to work to fix this in ongoing budget negotiations.”

Tester secured the following language in the NDAA:

C-130 Avionics Upgrades

Tester successfully included his provision to authorize C-130 avionics upgrades as well as $146 million to implement those upgrades. This will ensure MANG’s C-130s will be in compliance with new Federal Aviation Administration guidelines that will take effect in 2020. Without these upgrades, the Air Force’s C-130 fleet could be grounded.

Malmstrom’s ICBM Fleet

Tester ensured the bill included language prohibiting the reduction of the alert posture of the ICBM force, further strengthening Malmstrom’s ICBM fleet. And he supported provisions that authorize critical funding to ensure our ICBM arsenal is safe and reliable for decades to come, and that provide our airmen and missileers with the increased pay and benefits they have earned.

Security Clearance Reform

Tester successfully included his legislation to reform how criminal history records are shared between law enforcement agencies and background investigators. This will help address serious national security vulnerabilities that were exposed during the 2013 Naval Yard Shooting.