June 19, 2019
WASHINGTON – At the weekly Republican leadership press conference, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) discussed important provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill, which the Senate is expected to begin considering this week, provides service members the largest pay raise in a decade, reduces barriers to employment for veterans and military spouses, and ensures the U.S. maintains its technological advantage.
Following Are Blunt’s Remarks:
“Senator Inhofe, today, did a great job of talking about the defense bill. I think it’s clear that over the last 10 years, our technological advantage is not as great as it was. We are still technologically better than anybody else. This bill makes the kind of investment that will keep us there.
“It also makes an investment in people that’s extraordinary. The biggest pay increase for people serving in the military in a decade, 3.1%. There’s also a provision in here that would direct the Defense Department to work with the Council of State Governments to see that spouses, when they’re moving from one assignment to the other with their serving spouse, can be quickly certified to do whatever it is that they’re qualified to do.
“In January, in Missouri, the first spouse coming to Fort Leonard Wood was immediately sworn in to the Missouri Bar. That had never happened before. And whether you’re a lawyer, an electrician, a health care provider, a teacher, a truck driver, whatever you’re certified to do, the quicker states can do that the more appealing their military base becomes.
“This bill encourages that, and it should. And I certainly hope that my state is at the lead in certifying people to get to work at the skills they’re able to get to work with at all levels, but particularly moving military spouses.”