Washington, DC – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed the conference report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA funds defense and related programs and is usually one of the largest pieces of legislation that Congress passes each year. This year, the bill includes $732 billion in discretionary spending for our national defense for FY 2021, including approximately $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).
“Providing funding for our troops and our national defense is one of our most important responsibilities in Congress,” said Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04). “This bill ensures the security of Americans, provides the investments in innovation and industry to keep us ahead of our rivals, and supports Connecticut workers. Finally, we honor our ideals by making our armed forces more diverse, more responsible to our veterans and soldiers, and more able to face future threats.”
Himes sponsored an amendment that was included in the bill that would increase Congressional oversight of foreign nationals investing in the United States.
“National security oversight is one of Congress’s most essential functions,” said Himes. “Defending against financial incursions is essential because any vulnerability can be exploited. This bipartisan amendment tightens our oversight mechanisms and closes loopholes, showing that Congress is acting in comprehensive defense of national interests.”
The NDAA also contains significant funds for Connecticut-based companies, employing thousands of workers. This includes:
- $8.7 billion for the procurement of 93 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
- $898 million for procurement of 60 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters built by Sikorsky.
- $800 million for procurement of 7 new CH-53K Marine heavy-lift helicopters built by Sikorsky.
- $909 million for procurement of 16 HH-60W Air Force search and rescue helicopters built by Sikorsky.
- $589 million for procurement of 5 VH-92A aircraft, which will be the next-generation presidential helicopter.
- $6.8 billion for the Virginia class submarine program, an increase of $2.6 billion over the budget request to restore a second submarine in 2021.
- $4 billion to initiate construction of the new Columbia-class submarine. The Navy recently announced the award of $10.3 billion in contracting options for the first two submarines in the program to Electric Boat.
- $2.8 billion for continued development of the B-21 Raider. Pratt & Whitney is a partner in the next-generation long range strike bomber program.
- $2.7 billion for 15 KC-46A tanker aircraft, which are powered by Pratt & Whitney engines.
- C-130H Modernization – $134 million for additional upgrades for engines, propellers and other systems on the aircraft.
- $7 million to continue development of the KMAX Unmanned Helicopter and unmanned logistics capabilities with the CQ-24A helicopter manufactured by Bloomfield-based Kaman Aerospace.
- $20 million to support training programs to help support expansion of the skilled submarine workforce.
- $10 million to support partnerships with academic institutions that conduct research on undersea unmanned warfare and energy technology, such as the National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology, a collaborative program between the University of Connecticut and the University of Rhode Island.
In addition, the NDAA contains provisions that provide for a three percent pay raise for military personnel, invests in pandemic preparedness, increases diversity in the armed forces, and removes Confederate names from American military facilities.
President Trump has made threats to veto the bill, at first because of the inclusion of the provision to remove Confederate names, and later because it did not include an unrelated provision that would remove protections that currently exist for social media platforms from being held liable for user-generated content. Congressman Himes stands ready to support our troops and military and override the President’s veto should he attempt to follow through on the threat.
For more information or with any questions, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org.