House passes Defense Act

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Frank Lewis


PDT Staff Writer


U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup (OH2) said on Saturday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 on Friday.


Wenstrup, currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, supported the legislation in both committee and on the House floor. The bill authorizes the funding for continued operation of America’s military.


“As a Lt. Colonel in the Army Reserve and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I am proud to stand in support of the passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The American people can be confident that our military men, women, and families will have the resources necessary to continue their mission in the defense of our nation,” Wenstrup said. “This bill is a strong affirmation of our shared national values. Specifically, it contains numerous provisions to address and prevent sexual assault in the military, ensure mission readiness, strengthen congressional oversight, safely detain captured terrorists, and preserve the 1.8 percent active duty pay raise. With this legislation, we can continue to guarantee that our military is at the ready to protect America, aid our allies, and deter evil in this world.”


Angered by the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, the House on Thursday endorsed a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a member of the armed services convicted of rape or sexual assault in a military court.


By voice vote, the House approved the additional punishment as part of a series of steps lawmakers have taken to tackle the growing problem of sexual assault. The provisions are contained in a sweeping defense policy bill for the 2014 fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.


“Being in a military uniform should not be a get out of jail card,” Rep. Mike Turner, (OH-10), said.


Wenstrup said the timing of the bill was fitting.


“I cannot think of a more fitting day, both the Army’s 238th birthday and America’s Flag Day, to pass this important piece of legislation,” Wenstrup said. “We remain committed to ensuring that those in uniform, who have fought for and under our nation’s flag since 1775, have the every tool necessary to complete their mission.”


Wenstrup is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over defense policy and funding. He served in Iraq from 2005 to 2006 as a combat surgeon and chief of surgery.


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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