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WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) applauds House passage of the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations conference report. He made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the $577.9 billion Defense spending bill, which provides a pay raise to U.S. troops, improves military readiness, invests in new aircraft and ships, and boosts efforts to defeat terrorist groups, like ISIS. The legislation also continues support for the National Guard Counter Drug program, which has been instrumental to marijuana eradication effots in Kentucky, with $234 million. The measure passed 371-48 and now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

     "Thank you Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Congratulations on your assumption of the chairmanship of the full committee and for putting this bill together when you chaired the subcommittee on defense. This bill certainly represents the outcome of many hard choices, it prioritizes funding where our troops need it most. It wisely invests in readiness, training, maintenance and the procurement of new equipment and technology to ensure that our troops are prepared for the tasks before them. Moreover, H.R. 1301 supports our efforts to defeat ISIS alongside our allies in the region, as well as our continued focus on deterring Russian aggression.

     "I am also pleased that this bill takes care of our troops and their families at home, by granting them a long awaited 2.1% pay rise. Time and again, our service members put themselves in harm’s way and respond to the myriad threats facing our nation. This pay raise is one small way for us to honor their dedication and willingness to serve.

     "As the threats we face continue to become more unpredictable, we must provide our troops with the tools they need to win in uncertain times. This bill goes a long way toward restoring the shortfalls in manpower and readiness that our military has endured in recent years. In closing, Mr. Speaker, let me call attention again to Will Smith, who has been clerk of this committee for six years, served as my chief of staff in my private office for many years before. This is likely his last appropriations bill on the floor to help manage and put together, and so I want to say to Will and to all of you, what a great amount of service he rendered the nation with a true Kentucky attitude. Will, we owe you a lot, thank you for your service, you've been great, we wish you god speed. I yield back."

For a bill summary, please visit:

For text of the legislation, please visit:

For the Explanatory Statement, please visit:

Rogers' Floor Speech on FY17 Defense Spending Bill