WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, issued the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 out of committee:
“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act provides our troops with the necessary funding and policy authorizations to keep our nation safe from both today and tomorrow’s threats. I am pleased the committee adopted a bipartisan amendment to increase the defense topline by nearly $25 billion. Unfortunately, President Biden’s budget request woefully underfunded our military, and with the passage of this amendment we can ensure our military will be adequately funded to keep pace with a rising China.
The legislation also includes several provisions to hold the Biden Administration accountable for the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan. With the Biden Administration effectively equipping the Taliban with billions of dollars’ worth of military equipment and allowing the terrorist group to quickly assume power, it is critical for Congress to conduct oversight on what happened and understand the counterterrorism strategy going forward. I successfully included two amendments requiring the Department of Defense to brief Congress on its strategic decision to leave Bagram Air Base and to provide information on why U.S. contractor maintenance support was not provided to the Afghan Air Force.”
The NDAA is annual legislation that determines the policies and funding levels for the Department of Defense and other national security entities.
Hartzler included significant initiatives in the bill, including several wins for Missouri:
- 12 F/A-18 Super Hornets and 24 F-15EX aircraft, which are made in St. Louis by Boeing
- Increases funding by $103.2 million for Army small caliber ammunition, which are produced at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP).
- Funding to support needed modernization upgrades at LCAAP.
- $160 million for increment 4 of the Fort Leonard Wood hospital replacement project.
- Funding for the B-21 program, which will eventually replace the B-2 at Whiteman Air Force Base.
- Modernization funding for the B-2 to ensure the aircraft maintains its long-range strike capability until the B-21 is fully operational.
- Funding for upgrades for the C-130H fleet, including for those at the 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
- Protects criminal investigative command (CID) training at Fort Leonard Wood.
- Includes Hartzler’s CADET Act, which ensures cadets at service academies can retain their parental rights.
- Allows service members to take up to two weeks of permissive temporary duty each year to attend a seminar, retreat, workshop, or outdoor recreational therapy event hosted by a non-profit that focuses on psychological, physical, spiritual, or social wellness.
Hartzler also submitted additional amendments to improve the NDAA, but were unfortunately defeated by the Democrats. These include:
- Prohibiting funding for the Countering Extremism Working Group until the Department of Defense submits to Congress a definition of the term “extremism.”
- Prohibiting the Department of Defense Education Activity schools from teaching critical race theory.