Senate Approves National Defense Authorization Act

 U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today voted to advance the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support. The Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will now need to negotiate a final bill in a conference committee.

“At a time when our military is facing new and rising threats from nations like China and Russia, the Senate has put forward a strong plan that would provide our nation’s service members the tools and support they need,” Wicker said. “I commend Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Reed for their work to advance this bipartisan proposal for the 60th consecutive year.”

The legislation would authorize a topline figure of $740.5 billion for national defense, consistent with the 2019 bipartisan budget agreement. Among other provisions, it would also provide a three percent pay raise for all members of the armed forces and $21.3 billion for the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan.

The Senate’s defense proposal would:

  • Support the implementation of Wicker’s SHIPS Act, which made it the policy of the United States to acquire a 355-ship fleet as soon as practicable.
  • Allow the Secretary of the Navy to enter into one or more contracts for the procurement of three San Antonio-class amphibious ships (LPDs) and one America-class amphibious ship (LHA), all to be built in Mississippi.
  • Provide funding to support graphene research through a partnership between the University of Mississippi Center for Graphene Research and Innovation and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg.
  • Support propeller fabrication, submarine composites, and undersea sensor initiatives in Gulfport and Long Beach.
  • Support military family readiness by advocating for the employment of military spouses and ensuring the Department provides high-quality and accessible child care.
  • Ensure that previous reforms to the military privatized housing program are implemented.
  • Improve how the Pentagon manages its budget and make the process more transparent and accountable to Congress and the American people.
  • Include a Wicker-led amendment to create a whole-of-government response to spectrum management.
  • Include provisions of Wicker’s Industries of the Future Act of 2020, which would advance U.S. global leadership in industries including artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, synthetic biology, and next-generation wireless networks and infrastructure.
  • Include provisions of Wicker’s Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education (HACKED) Act, which would boost America’s cybersecurity workforce in both the public and private sectors.
  • Include provisions of Wicker’s Cybersecurity Competitions to Yield Better Efforts to Research the Latest Exceptionally Advanced Problems (CYBER LEAP) Act of 2020, which would establish prize challenges to achieve high-priority breakthroughs in cybersecurity.