U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today praised passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. Among other provisions, the critical legislation will authorize all funding for the U.S. military, including troop pay and benefits, equipment and munitions procurement, and operational expenses.
“Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for the 60th year in a row is a huge win for America’s military men and women,” Wicker said. “This legislation guarantees a well-deserved pay raise for our troops, while also making the investments in military manufacturing and research that will be critical to defending America’s interests and ensuring our military might remains unrivaled. This proposal will also support the livelihoods of thousands of Mississippi residents who build and support the ships, aircraft, vehicles, munitions, and other equipment our troops use every day.”
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 3 percent pay raise for all members of the Armed Forces and $23.4 billion for the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan.
The defense proposal will:
- 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.
- Reauthorize the U.S. Coast Guard and provide retirement pay parity for Coast Guard members and their families.
- Reauthorize key parts of the Maritime Administration, which is responsible for America’s waterborne transportation system and provides logistical support for the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Support military family readiness by advocating for the employment of military spouses and ensuring the Department provides high-quality and accessible child care.
- Support the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure troops have adequate diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities, and personal protective equipment.
- 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.
- Strengthens America’s national defense supply chain and reduces reliance on foreign adversaries like China for mission-critical components like microelectronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.
- Include a Wicker-led amendment to create a whole-of-government response to spectrum management.
Release from Senator Roger Wicker.