Jim Talent

Opinion: McCain’s Legacy of Stronger Military Reflected in Senate’s Landmark Defense Bill
This year’s NDAA could be a big win for military personnel and their families

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has served on the committee for over three decades, helping it draft and pass dozens of National Defense Authorization Acts — some seemingly routine, others carrying historic significance.

This year’s NDAA, the annual policy bill for the Defense Department, has the potential to rank among the latter. Many provisions in the Senate version, drafted under McCain’s leadership, would have a positive long-term effect on military readiness, servicemember satisfaction and, crucially, the well-being of military families, who are often overlooked.

Renewable Energy Is Available Now

Even Congress has become fully aware of the nation’s energy crisis and the need for a comprehensive energy bill. Natural gas prices are on the rise, our electricity transmission grid is outdated, and America is too dependent on foreign energy sources. There can no longer be a doubt that America needs a pro-growth national energy policy.

The new Congress is a new opportunity for us to pass a good bill, and an important component should be a strong renewable fuels package.

Navy Needs Greater Attention

The United States Navy will not, over the long term, be able to maintain superiority in seapower given current and projected defense spending.

Under the leadership of Adm. Vernon Clark, the chief of Naval Operations, the Navy is questioning the status quo across the board, in readiness, training, technology and deployment cycles to make necessary improvements. He is without question transforming the Navy to meet anticipated threats of the 21st century. However, many of those decisions are unfortunately shaped by insufficient funding.