Miss. Senator joins colleagues to demand action on national security legislation

Today, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker joined Republican senators in urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to take up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022.

The bill, which would authorize all funding for the Department of Defense, passed the Senate Armed Services Committee in July by a vote of 23-3. This marks the 61st consecutive year that the Committee has come together on a bipartisan basis to advance a defense policy bill.

The legislation has stalled for months as Senate Democrats have chosen to advance other legislative priorities, including low level nominations and a multi-trillion dollar tax and spending package.

“What we need now is for the Democratic leader of the United States Senate to let this bipartisan process work as it has now for over half a century. We call on Chuck Schumer today to give us floor time,” Wicker said. “Let the 100 members of the Senate act on one of the most significant pieces of legislation that we will consider this Congress.”

In his remarks, Wicker cited President Biden who said “we are at a great inflection point in our history” due to competition with China. The Mississippi senator also referenced remarks from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who said China is a “pacing challenge” and the “most significant threat we face.”

The annual defense bill would authorize funding for warships, missile systems, and advanced technology that is instrumental to deterring China. The Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA authorizes a topline of $768 billion for the military and national security programs at the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

The 61st annual NDAA supports a total of $777.9 billion in fiscal year 2022 funding for national defense. Within this topline, the legislation authorizes $740.3 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $27.7 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Ranking Member Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced in September that they filed S. 2792, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA).

“This bipartisan legislation provides our troops and Defense Department civilians with a well-deserved pay raise, as well as new tools and reforms to protect the health and well-being of our servicemen and women and their families,” Senator Jack Reed said. “It prioritizes efforts to strengthen our cyber defenses, improve readiness, and accelerate the research and development of advanced technologies. I am grateful to Senator Inhofe for his collaboration and leadership, and I look forward to improving the bill on the Senate floor as we work toward ensuring our forces have the right tools and capabilities to combat threats around the globe.”

“This bill is the most important bill we do each year, but the current crises we face make it more essential now,” Senator Inhofe said. It’s up to Congress to ensure that our troops and their families have the tools, capabilities, training and resources needed to defend our country from these very real, very serious threats. That’s why this year’s bill boosts defense spending by $25 billion above the President’s request. While I don’t support every provision in this bill, all Senators will have the opportunity to improve it through an open floor process – which I hope will begin in short order. I thank Senator Reed for his partnership and his commitment to getting this critical bill to the floor.”

Click here to view full text of the bill.

Click here to view an executive summary of the FY 2022 NDAA.