The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is important for many reasons. It takes steps to rebuild our military for the 21st century. It increases funding for missile defense research and development. And it reforms our acquisition process to make it leaner and more cost-efficient.

One more thing: This bill fully funds a well-deserved pay raise for our troops—the largest in eight years. It also extends special pay and bonuses. More from Federal News Radio:

"The House Armed Services’ Personnel Subcommittee is recommending a 2.4 percent pay raise for those in the military, and it wants to add 17,000 troops to the Army."

Indeed, our servicemembers and their families make enormous sacrifices to defend this country. These brave men and women risk their lives on the frontlines to ensure we can live freely and safely here at home. They don’t ask for much, but this is the least we can do to say thank you.

As Speaker Ryan said this week, “With this defense bill, we are working to make sure that our Armed Forces have the tools and the resources that they need to defeat terror. This is the next step in keeping our promise to rebuild our military for the 21st century and the threats that it encapsulates. It includes support for military families, and honestly, a really well-deserved pay raise for our troops.”

Republicans and Democrats recently joined together to pass this bill out of the Armed Services Committee by a vote of 60-1. We hope that, in the spirit of supporting our troops, that bipartisanship will continue on the House floor today.

Click here to learn more about the bill, and visit for additional updates.