WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02), member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted Thursday in favor of advancing H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The bill was reported out of committee by a unanimous vote of 56 to 0. This annual legislation, which contains a number of amendments and provisions authored by Bacon, authorizes defense spending and sets the policy and priorities for our military. Overall, the bill authorizes a total of $741 billion for national defense.
“For the sixtieth consecutive year the House Armed Services Committee has worked in a bipartisan way to safeguard America’s security and support servicemembers and military families,” said Rep. Bacon. “Despite challenging circumstances, the committee produced a comprehensive national defense bill that sends a strong message of unity to the American people, our allies, and adversaries like China and Russia. I look forward to passing this bill and starting negotiations with the Senate later this month.”
Highlights from Committee’s FY 2021 NDAA include:
- Authorizes a three percent pay raise for all members of the armed forces.
- Fully funds the modernization of America’s nuclear deterrent forces including the B-21 long range bomber, the Columbia Class ballistic missile submarine, and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile replacement program.
- Authorizes $280 million for upgrades to RC-135, WC-135 and E-4B aircraft based at Offutt Air Force Base.
- Establishes a new Indo-Pacific security initiative modeled after the successful European Deterrence Initiative.
- Authorizes a fund of $1 billion for COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response.
In addition, the committee’s bill contains numerous legislative proposals sponsored by Congressman Bacon, including:
- Prohibits retirement of RC-135 aircraft through 2025.
- Mandates a review of alternative missions for OC-135 observation aircraft.
- Directs an increase of $130 million to accelerate procurement of EC-37B electronic warfare aircraft.
- Mandates implementation of the “Safe to Report” policy for sexual assault victims across the armed forces.
- Directs a comprehensive review of Department of Defense professional military education schools, colleges, and universities.
- Mandates the re-designation of military installations named after individuals who engaged in armed rebellion against the United States.
- Authorizes $5 million to implement and accelerate a pilot program to develop civilian and military partnerships for medical surge capacity.
- Makes improvements to Department of Defense assessment procedures for wind energy projects.
- Places limits on the withdraw of United States forces from Germany and Afghanistan.
- Requires a strategy for Space Force officer commissioning programs.
- Supports nuclear command, control, and communications (NC3) modernization and the operational readiness of NC3 aircraft.
- Affirms the defense relationship between the United States and Taiwan.
- Ensures transparency of the Department of Defense budget by ending the process of "pass-through" budgeting.