(Washington, D.C.) Eastern Washington troops, small technology businesses and biofuel producers will benefit from legislation the House Armed Services Committee passed early this morning. The bill authorizes funding for the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2010. Committee member Congresswoman Cathy McMorris successfully pushed key provisions in the bill that:
Encourage soldiers to seek key medical treatment. McMorris Rodgers’ provision directs the Secretary of Defense to explore new internet technology, similar to virtual agents, to provide interactive self-help for behavioral and mental health needs. “We must do more to break down the stigma within the military that is associated with counseling and seeking help,” McMorris Rodgers said. “While our brave men and women are serving our country, we must ensure they have access to all possible forms of treatment. Developing a virtual agent further protecting their identity is a great starting point.”
Level the playing field for small businesses and create a more competitive bidding process. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and often lead the way in information technology innovation within the Department of Defense’s information technology system,” McMorris Rogers said. “A competitive bidding process is a win-win situation. Not only does it result in a better product for the Defense Department, but also protects the taxpayer by brining down the price.”
Support biofuels in domestic military transportation. “America needs a comprehensive energy policy that includes expanding the use of biofuels. And with the U.S. military being the largest purchaser of oil in the world, this provision encourages spending tax dollars for fuel here at home, instead of overseas,” McMorris Rodgers said.
McMorris Rodgers criticized the Majority that blocked efforts to restore a $1.2 billion cut in the missile defense program. “The North Korea threat is a very serious one. We cannot take lightly intelligence reports and news stories on North Korea’s continued development of short, mid and long-range nuclear capabilities. We must do everything possible to protect all Americans.”