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Wittman Backs House Passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act

The funding we secured will help the United States remain the world’s leading military power

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22). The FY 22 NDAA authorizes funding for the United States Department of Defense for the next fiscal year and serves as the primary vehicle through which defense legislation is passed. The NDAA is historically one of Congress’ most bipartisan bills as it has been passed and signed into law every year for the past six decades. Following his vote to pass the FY22 NDAA Congressman Wittman stated:

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act shows Congress can still work together for the greater good. At the beginning of this process, we received an inadequate budget request from President Biden well below what was recommended by the National Defense Strategy. Enacting the proposed defense cuts would have reduced military readiness and deprived servicemembers of resources necessary to fight and win the nation’s wars. But this year, the House Armed Services Committee worked across party lines to authorize $25 billion more than President Biden had requested. Though we may not agree with every provision, we recognized the importance of this bill to our national security and the need to find a suitable compromise. We were successful in this effort. 

“The additional funding we secured meets the criteria outlined by the National Defense Strategy, continues the progress we have made in improving military readiness, and helps the United States remain the world’s leading military power. Through this strength, the United States will be able to project force and deter conflict as we work to secure peace throughout the world and check China’s malign influence. 

“Countering China’s expansionist ambitions starts at sea. As the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, I am proud to secure authorization for an additional 5 ships, bringing us to a total of 13, and the retention of 3 capable cruisers. 

“These ships are not only necessary to deter Chinese aggression but will bring good-paying jobs to Virginia and grow our economy. Many of these ships are built, maintained, and repaired in Virginia. In turn, each of these ships represents another economic boon for our Commonwealth. 

“The defense sector represents 19% of Virginia’s economy. These new ships mean more economic growth, and greater revenues to spending on priorities such as roads, schools, and law enforcement. As always, but especially in the case of this year’s NDAA, when we do what is right for the United States, we do what is right for Virginia. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this critical legislation and look forward to seeing it become law.” 

Passage of this year’s NDAA will include passage of 7 bills previously introduced by Congressman Wittman. These bills are:

H.R.5104, The Just In Case Act: Establishes Special Emergency Reimbursement Authority for the Dept of Defense, similar to that provided by Sec. 3610 of the CARES Act, to allow contractors to be reimbursed if they are unable to work on-site due to a pandemic.

H.R.4861, The COBIA Act: Ensures schools educating service-connected children receive the full sum of federal impact aid to which they are currently entitled. A big win for school districts near military installations. 

H.R.4987, The Global Force Management Oversight Act: Requires an annual report on the Global Force Management Allocation Plan (GFMAP) and briefing on major changes to the GFMAP throughout the year. This will provide Congress the ability to make sure our tax-payer dollars are reflecting the prioritizations of the National Defense Strategy.

H.R.4935, SWOLE Act (Amended): Improves the retention of Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) by investigating root causes to female retention shortfalls, while increasing the marketability of post-served SWOs by credentialing them as professional mariners: a win-win for the Navy and the Merchant Marines alike.

H.R. 5147, Prohibiting the Secretary of Defense from procuring personal protective equipment from certain non-allied foreign nations, and for other purposes.

H.R.5108, The 1st Lt. Hugh Conor McDowell Safety in Armed Forces Equipment Act of 2021: Explores the incorporation of blackboxes in tactical vehicles, allowing data collection on prospective safety improvements for our servicemembers.

H.R.2609, The Naval Readiness Act: Provides oversight over U.S. Navy vessels by making permanent the requirement for an annual report on the material condition of Navy ships, expanding this report to make it more meaningful for both the taxpayer and Congress alike.

The FY22 NDAA contains many additional Seapower provisions and Virginia priorities, including:

  • Authorizes funding for two critical military construction projects in Dahlgren: a Cyber Threat & Weapon Systems Complex and a High Powered Electric Weapons Laboratory.
  • Sets the stage to expand procurement to three Virginia-class submarines per year--which are built in Virginia.
    • 3 Virginia-class submarines per year will put America on track to meet our shipbuilding goals.
    • With this certainty in workload, Huntington Ingalls Industry in Newport News, VA will expand to provide substantial skilled employment opportunities for Virginians.
  • Secures funds to continue aircraft carrier construction, also built in Newport News.
  • Secures three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, ensuring thousands of American jobs and offsetting significant lost VLS capacity from cruiser retirements.
  • Saves three cruisers from decommissioning.
  • Procures one Constellation-class frigate, one ocean surveillance ship, one fleet tugboat.
  • Authorizes funding for an additional LHA, consistent with needs highlighted by testimony from top military strategists during this year's posture hearings.
  • Procures two EPFs to increase rapid response mission capabilities in littoral areas.
  • Adds an additional John Lewis-class Oiler, an essential component for naval logistics and the Military Sealift Command.
  • Procures 13 ships and authorizes one of the highest levels of shipbuilding funding in over 30 years.