Thompson Votes in Favor of National Defense Authorization

Washington, DC – Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) today voted in favor of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.  The legislation, the final product of the House and Senate conference, passed the House by a vote of 270-156.

“As members of Congress, it is paramount that we ensure our service men and women have the tools they need to defend our nation,” Thompson said.  “The NDAA directs funding for equipment and resources needed to combat threats across the globe, while also assisting members of our Armed Forces to provide the services they need here at home.”

The Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers (MEPS) Act (H.R. 1465) was authored by Thompson and passed the House in May as an amendment to the NDAA.  The MEPS Act would improve military suicide prevention by instituting a mental health assessment for all incoming military recruits, which can be used as a baseline for evaluations throughout their military careers.  The legislation passed today directs the Department of Defense to study the screening.

“While mental health evaluations for our service members have been thoroughly examined over the years, this legislation contains yet another study,” Thompson said.  “I strongly urge the Pentagon to act quickly in taking steps to better assess the mental health of our service men and women with a commonsense baseline evaluation.” 

The MEPS Act is supported by a number of organizations, including:  Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers’ Association of America, National Military Family Association, Association of the U.S. Navy, the National Guard Association of the United States, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, the American Psychological Association, and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.