WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted in favor of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, annual legislation that fulfills Congress’ constitutional duty to “provide for the common defense."
“This broad, bipartisan bill focuses on implementing the National Defense Strategy to confront challenges from Russia, China, Iran, as well as protect against international terrorism and other threats. By ensuring technological advantages, securing supply chains, making key investments in modernized warfare, and prioritizing accountability and streamlining operations at the Pentagon, we are able to retain our military superiority,” Senator Capito said. “But most importantly, this bill takes care of our troops and their families not only by authorizing a well-deserved pay raise, but also by improving the lives of military families with flexible childcare, education, and housing.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2021 NDAA:
- Authorizes a requested 3 percent pay raise for our troops
- Provides a total of $740.5 billion in funding to fulfill the requirements of the president’s National Defense Strategy
- Positions the United States to best defend our interests in the Indo-Pacific and deter Chinese military and economic aggression by establishing and resourcing the Pacific Deterrence Initiative
- Accelerates innovation by focusing investments on key capabilities and technologies that will put us light years ahead of our strategic competitors, including artificial intelligence, hypersonic weapons, cybersecurity, and biotechnologies
- Continues the President Trump’s historic efforts to rebuild our military superiority by investing in the next generation of ships, planes, tanks, and weapons
- Improves the lives and livelihoods of military families by helping military spouses find and keep good jobs, guaranteeing access to quality, flexible child care and education, and ensuring families are living in healthy, safe housing
- Makes the Pentagon more transparent and accountable to the American people by modernizing reporting requirements and improving the budget request materials
- Protects our troops and supports military readiness by ensuring our troops have adequate diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities, and PPE, and supporting the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic
CAPITO PRIORITIES INCLUDED IN THE 2021 NDAA:
- Prohibits of the divestment of RC-26B manned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft that are based in Martinsburg.
- Supports military mothers by ensuring women serving in the National Guard and Reserves can take maternity leave without worry about how it will affect their compensation and credits towards their retirement for their military service. Senator Capito was a co-sponsor of this provision, the Mothers of Military Service (MOMS) Leave Act.
- Ensures minimum number of 287 C-130 aircraft, which is critical for military readiness and the West Virginia National Guard.
- Supports dual-status technicians and the important role these men and women play in supporting operations of the National Guard.
- Includes the U.S. Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, which further cements the partnership between the United States and Israel.
- Includes rare earth elements (REEs) report language to ensure the United States is not dependent on foreign adversaries like China for REEs that are necessary for technological capabilities.
A detailed summary of the 2021 NDAA can be found here.
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