Every year, the House Armed Services Committee creates and brings to the floor the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA directs policy and spending plans for the Defense Department.
This week, the subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee released our proposals for the next NDAA, which included a broad range of provisions ranging from increasing shipbuilding and innovation efforts, boosting military pay and benefits, and developing a strategy for dealing with new 5G technologies. As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I worked closely with the Chairman, Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02), to create our bipartisan bill.
Our seapower proposal also includes authorization for more Virginia-class submarines, many of which are built in Virginia. Additional submarines are essential to reducing the attack submarine shortfall currently slated to occur in the next ten years. The subcommittee’s mark takes the steps to accelerate the build schedule and bring our fleet closer to the 66 submarines requested by our Combatant Commanders. The bill also contains several provisions to support the construction and maintenance of our aircraft carriers – our nation’s preeminent power project platform. It includes authorization for the Refueling and Complex Overhauls (RCOH) for the USS Truman – giving it another 25 years of service. This RCOH will be done in Newport News, Virginia, meaning more reliable employment for our strong industrial base. These Virginia-specific provisions are critical not only to our Commonwealth's economy and continued role as the national leader in supporting our Armed Forces, but in the national security of our country as well.
It is a privilege to work on such a bipartisan subcommittee that is laser-focused on providing our sailors, marines, and airmen the tools they need to keep our nation safe. However, our subcommittee seems to be the anomaly. Unfortunately, the Democratic majority has decided to make this year’s NDAA a partisan piece of legislation by not fulfilling the Department of Defense’s budget request and by including partisan riders, threatening its passage out of the House Armed Service Committee. My hope is that we can come together to do what is best for our nation. Next week, I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure our men and women in uniform receive the resources they need to be successful. To stay updated on all my work related to defense,click here!