Garcia supports House passage of defense bill 

Politics and government

News release 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, last week voted in favor of the FY2025 Defense Appropriations Act, which passed the House.  

“This bill strengthens our military, better ensures our national security, and includes Rep. Garcia’s proposal to give U.S. junior enlisted troops the highest pay raise in history,” said a statement from the congressman’s office. 

The bill also includes funding for several programs that will bring jobs and billions of dollars in economic impact to the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, according to the release. 

“This is the defense bill that America needs,” Garcia said in the release. “It refocuses the Pentagon on deterring and winning wars, better supports our warfighters and their families, and sends both our enemies and allies a clear message: America’s military is and will remain the strongest fighting force in the world. That strength is ensured by our brave men and women in uniform, who right now are paid less than fast-food workers. I’m so proud to say my proposal to right that wrong – a historic pay raise for our junior enlisted troops – was included in the bill.” 

Garcia added: “The world is becoming more dangerous under the current administration, not less. That means we need a combat-ready military to preserve and protect freedom, and this Defense bill ensures we’re capable of doing just that.” 

The release said Garcia had advocated for key provisions that were included in the bill, including: 

• Junior Enlisted Pay Raise: $2.5 billion increase to facilitate a 19.5% pay raise for junior enlisted troops (E1-E4). 

• B-21 Raider Procurement: Full funding for the Air Force’s B-21 Raider procurement, securing the future of this critical program. 

• U-2S Retirement Prohibition Language: Prohibits the divestment of U-2 aircraft, ensuring continued operational capabilities. 

• US-Israel Anti-Tunnel Cooperation: $80 million increase to enhance anti-tunneling cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. 

• US-Israel Emerging Technology Cooperation: $47.5 million increase to support joint emerging technology initiatives with Israel. 

• US-Israel Counter UAS and Directed Energy Cooperation: $55 million increase to bolster counter UAS and directed energy cooperation efforts with Israel. 

• Combatting China: $200 million for Taiwan’s international security cooperation programs and prioritizing defense articles and services to Taiwan. 

• Countering the Fentanyl Crisis: $1.14 billion for drug interdiction and counterdrug activities and programs. 

• Therapeutic Dog Training Program: $16 million increase and accompanying report language to support the therapeutic service dog training program by America’s VetDogs. 

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