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Wittman applauds House passage of FY21 NDAA, secures wins for Virginia

Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, issued the following statement after House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21 NDAA)

“After a months-long process of negotiations and discussions, made more difficult by the logistical impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud to support such a bipartisan and bicameral piece of legislation in this year’s FY21 NDAA and am thrilled that the House passed this vital bill. This is a piece of legislation that I believe does right by our men and women in uniform and provides sound, strong defense policy for the coming year and the coming challenges. FY21 NDAA will give our armed forces the tools and resources they need to deter our adversaries, support our allies, and project power around the globe.

“The FY21 NDAA supports our military community both throughout our nation and here in the Commonwealth. Our area is home to one of the largest populations of military members, their families, and the hardworking Americans who develop and support the platforms, systems, and programs that our warfighters use to execute their critical missions around the globe. Advocating for these individuals is one of my top priorities, and I am proud of the provisions in the FY21 NDAA that put our military community first.

“For 59 years, this piece of bipartisan legislation has been signed into law as it is what is necessary to support our troops and set the defense policy for our nation. I look forward to the passage of this bill by my colleagues in the Senate, and I look forward to its efficacy for our military in the coming year.”

Through his work as the Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and as a core conferee in the Conference Committee process for the FY21 NDAA, Congressman Wittman was able to work with his colleagues to secure the restoration of a second Virginia-class submarine and the required advanced procurement to maintain the necessary two-per-year build rate to keep pace with shipbuilding goals. These submarines are critical to both national defense strategy and the Commonwealth’s economy. 

Additionally, the FY21 NDAA saw the inclusion of Congressman Wittman’s bill, H.R. 7195, which will allow for the multi-year procurement of three smaller amphibious ships and one large deck amphibious ship that will save the taxpayers roughly a billion dollars. 

Ultimately, the shipbuilding account procures nine battle force ships including one Columbia-class fleet ballistic missile submarine; two Virginia-class submarines; two DDG 51 Arleigh Burke destroyers; one guided missile Frigate (FFG); two T-ATS towing, salvage, and rescue ships; and one expeditionary fast transport ship (EPF).

Outside the Seapower portfolio, the FY21 NDAA included another bill written by Congressman Wittman, H.R.8263, which ensures opportunities for Department of Defense participation in wildlife conservation banking programs. This measure will establish accountable objective, measurable criteria for conservation results, giving the Department of Defense additional tools to advance military readiness. This is a win for the Department of Defense, our environment, and our wildlife.

The FY21 NDAA also fully funds the critical B-21 Raider bomber program, as well as the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine program and provides additional P-8 aircraft to combat the undersea threat. 

Finally, it includes the creation and authorization of the Tanker Fleet Security Program, a program that will continue to address our inability to appropriately transport fuel by creating a stipend for ten U.S.-flagged fuel transport ships to be chartered for this purpose.

The FY21 NDAA includes several other provisions Congressman Wittman is proud to support such as a 3.0% pay raise for servicemembers, funding for future warfare projects done in Virginia’s First District (such as the railgun and directed energy projects), and making sure the Armed Forces have the diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities, and the personal protective equipment necessary to protect servicemembers from the threat of infectious diseases.