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Wittman House Floor Remarks on FY22 NDAA

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, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Congressman Wittman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

I want to thank Mr. Rogers for yielding. 

Ladies and gentlemen, our national security is in jeopardy.  Russian literally has over 100,000 troops sitting on Ukraine’s doorstep, Iran continues to threaten the viability of Israel and other regional nations, and China is prepared to bully the ASEAN countries into submission and declare their hegemony not just in Hong Kong but across the entire region.  Just this year, China surpassed the United States in battle force ships and is rapidly approaching parity in our combat aircraft. 

Do we have the courage to stand up these regional tyrants, do we oppose an Iranian regime who threatens to destabilize neighboring countries while they seek nuclear capabilities, or even do we seek to appease a North Korea who continues to threaten South Korea and even the United States with their nuclear expansion? 

Our nation sits at the precipice of a national security inflection point.  I am not sure as to which path our nation will select but I am emboldened to ensure our nation is prepared to choose, at the time of our choosing, what will be in the best interests of our nation.  A strong national defense is necessary to preserve our democratic ideals and the nations who seek to live free from subjugation and oppression. 

That is why I am particularly pleased that we have rejected a multitude of national security objectives proposed by the Biden administration.  This bill authorizes a 20% increase in the ship construction, partially rejects an ill-advised “divest to invest” strategy and blocks a multitude of poison pills that were haphazardly tacked on to this bill. 

I want to thank Ranking Member Rogers and his leadership during the topline debate this year.  We are adopting his budget vision today, a vision that ensures real growth for Defense.  I also want to particularly thank Chairman Courtney for his approach to national security and his desire to reach bipartisan consensus.  

My friends, this is a good bill, worthy of support.  It sends a strong message to our democratic partners and allies that the United States stands with countries that oppose regional hegemony.  We need to pass the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure our national security.

I thank the gentleman for recognizing me, and I yield back the balance of my time.