Vice Chair Luria Highlights Wins In NDAA
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice Chair Elaine Luria today lauded the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) passage of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the $741 billion defense budget that includes $23.9 billion more in spending than the President’s budget request.
“I was proud to secure additional resources for our defense budget and the local economy of Hampton Roads,” Vice Chair Luria said. “In Coastal Virginia, we are proud to live in a community that plays a leading role of the defense of this nation. With the situation unfolding in Afghanistan, it was necessary for the House to pass a defense budget that projects strength, is forward-thinking, and, above all, treats our servicemen and women with dignity and respect.”
The HASC markup of the Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA includes several of Vice Chair Luria’s key priorities:
- $23.9 billion in additional defense spending above the President’s budget request.
- More than $28 billion for shipbuilding, which includes protecting three (3) guided missile cruisers from decommissioning, advanced procurement to ramp up production of Virginia class submarines to three per year, and purchasing three (3) Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51), one (1) America-class amphibious assault ship (LHA), one (1) Constellation-class guided missile Frigate (FFG), one (1) Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) and other support ships.
- $10 billion for Military Construction projects, including: $88.9 million for Naval Station Norfolk and $24 million for Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
- $175 million investment in the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland to improve facilities, including the dock, dry dock, capital equipment improvements, or dredging.
- Reforms to protect victims of military sexual assault, including the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (H.R. 4104).
- U.S.-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act (H.R. 852) — Legislation co-sponsored by Vice Chair Luria establishing a grant program between the United States and Israel to advance research at eligible academic or nonprofit entities to advance research on post-traumatic stress disorders.
- A provision directing the Secretary of the Navy to brief HASC by February 1, 2022 on Navy’s efforts to utilize contract withholdings as an incentive to improve performance in the private surface ship repair industry.
- Reforms allowing for participation in the Seaman-to-Admiral 21 (STA-21) program between Fiscal Year 2010-2014 to count towards retirement service and retirement pay.
- An amendment allowing the Secretary of the Navy to convey 2.77 acres of land at 121 West Lane to the School Board of the City of Virginia Beach.
- An amendment that would direct the Secretary of the Navy to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by March 1, 2022 on the status of its Future Base Design effort within the Hampton Roads region.
- An amendment directing the Secretary of the Navy to brief the House Armed Services Committee by June 1, 2022 about the principal factors presenting risks to U.S. shipbuilding, specifically factors leading to potential cost increases or supply chain vulnerabilities, as well as recommendations to reduce those risks.
- An amendment directing the Secretary of the Navy to brief the House Armed Services Committee by March 1, 2022 on the cost benefit of reactivating USNS Bridge and USNS Rainier to add much needed capability to the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force (CLF).
- An amendment directing the Secretary of the Navy to brief the House Armed Services Committee by March 1, 2022 on the feasibility and cost of incorporating Mine Countermeasures (MCM) capabilities on all Expeditionary Sea Base (T-ESB) platforms.
- Provision to design and install astern refueling capability on Expeditionary Sea Base (T-ESB) platforms that is capable of refueling both the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF).
Not included in this year’s NDAA was the Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act (H.R. 475), which has 78 House co-sponsors.
“Right now, under civilian health care plans, dependents can stay on a parent’s plan until the age of 26, but that’s not the case for military families,” Vice Chair Luria said. “The Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act continues to garner bipartisan support in the House and I will not stop working to provide equal health care benefits to our servicemembers. I want to thank the National Military Family Association and the many advocates and organizations who are working on this important legislation. I know how important this issue is for the people of Hampton Roads and I will continue to push for lower health care costs for military families.”
Vice Chair Luria was a vocal critic of President Biden’s proposed defense budget, routinely pressing Pentagon leaders on the decision to decommission 15 ships that would shrink America’s Naval fleet in the face of a growing Chinese Navy, while prioritizing investments in unproven technology that will not be realized for years.
The NDAA passed the House Armed Services Committee on a vote of 57-2.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the committee’s Vice Chair, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Homeland Security.