Amata Welcomes President’s Signing of Major Defense Bill Supporting Troops and Strengthening Military

August 13, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Monday, Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed President Trump’s signing of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, H.R. 5515, in a signing ceremony at Fort Drum, New York, where the President and Vice President Pence visited troops and toured the military installation. The new law builds on the recent improvements in the 2018 NDAA and provides for increased troop levels, higher pay, and other support for the men and women in our Armed Forces.

“Policy decisions regarding the military or veterans always have outsized effects in American Samoa, because of the high rate of service among our people,” said Aumua Amata. “This ongoing strengthening of our nation’s military over the past two major Defense Authorization bills ensures the availability of a better variety of options for any of our people choosing military service. These options often allow those enlisting to focus on their natural skill sets, areas of interest, or growing fields such as cyber and technology with future career possibilities.”

Congress has focused on boosting troop strength and other Defense investment, along with reforms to serve individual needs better both while they serve and upon retirement from service, including raising pay levels for our troops by 2.6 percent, which is the largest amount since 2010. As a matter of policy, the Pentagon is in the process of adding 20,000 to total uniformed personnel. These additions ensure more opportunities for our American Samoan youth, whether they consider choosing a lengthy career in the Armed Forces, or a single enlistment.

“Events around the world show the wisdom of investing in a strong military and Defense capabilities,” continued Congresswoman Amata. “That includes quality training, the best possible equipment, and doing all we can to see that those serving the cause of freedom have appropriate housing, pay, medical care and educational options for their futures.”