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Wittman's Local Priorities Included in Annual Defense Authorization

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Washington, May 10, 2018 | comments

WASHINGTON - The House Armed Services Committee today passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). 

The bill, one of the few passed annually by Congress, includes numerous local priorities championed by Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01).

"I fought tirelessly to make sure Virginia’s priorities were included in this bill. The jobs created by our defense industry not only benefit the Commonwealth's economy but also continues its role as the national leader in supporting our Armed Forces and in the national security of our country as well," Rep. Wittman said. "Virginia has long been a center of excellence for our active duty and retired military. In the First District, we are home to Marine Corps Base Quantico, Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, and Fort A.P. Hill. However, our connection to the Armed Forces does not stop there; from civilians working on cyber-security at the Pentagon, to our shipbuilders in Newport News, Virginians are constantly supporting our men and women in uniform. I was pleased to be able to advance these important provisions through the committee and look forward to continuing to promote them as the NDAA process moves forward." 

Now that it has passed the Armed Services Committee, the NDAA can be brought to the House floor for a vote. 

Local Priorities in NDAA for FY19 include:

  • Protects and creates Virginia Maritime Industrial Base Jobs: 
    • Block Aircraft Carrier Buy: This dual buy will be beneficial to both the taxpayers and to our Virginia maritime industrial base as it shows that Congress is committed to the thousands of workers who build and maintain aircraft carriers every day.
    • Authorizes long lead time material funding in fiscal year 2019 for two additional Virginia-class submarines in fiscal years 2022 and 2023: These submarines are made right here in Virginia. By investing in these items, we are sending a strong message to our industrial base that they will have job security. 
  • Requires the Navy to provide further information before moving a critical capability from NSWC Dahlgren: I submitted language that requires a report within 90 days of the passage of NDAA that details the full economic impact and risk of moving the Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense Division from the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren. This will provide further clarity for a potential move.
  • Retains the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) until a replacement can be developed, which is homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. This is critical as it provides a faster response for disaster relief on the east coast.
  • Makes progress on receiving funding for the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge, Yorktown, VA. This bill requires the Commander, U.S. Transportation Command to review the feasibility of including the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge in the federally funded Strategic Highways Network, a system of roads deemed necessary for mobilization and movement of critical commodities to support U.S. military operations.
  • Provides an additional $10 million to the Rocket Systems Launch Program for places like Wallops Flight Facility operated by NASA in Accomack County, Virginia.
  • Directs the Navy to enter into an aggressive schedule to recapitalize the surge sealift fleet, many of which are in Hampton Roads.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

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