The U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday night passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a bipartisan vote of 363-70.
All seven members of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted to pass the annual defense appropriations bill.
Excluded from the House’s final version of the legislation was an array of controversial progressive provisions, which assisted in the effort to gain Republican support for the must-pass bill.
U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), who sit on their respective chamber’s Armed Services Committees, played an instrumental role in ensuring such provisions were scrapped from the bill’s final version.
Yellowhammer News has obtained a list of measures advocated by congressional Democrats which were defeated in part by the work of Alabama congressional Republicans.
Provisions excluded from the final version of the NDAA include the following:
- Reporting requirements and noncompliance penalties for mandatory DOD contractor diversity and inclusion
- Promoting unionization of the nation’s defense industry
- Military construction union quotas
- Codification of President Joe Biden’s defense contractor $15 an hour minimum wage executive order
- Mandatory female Selective Service registration
- U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) authorization to hire “gender advisors”
- Creation of DOD Office of Countering Extremism
- Forced gender integration within the U.S. Marine Corps
- “Gender analysis” inclusion within military education curriculum
Rogers, the lead Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, praised his colleagues’ work in crafting legislation which paved the way for the NDAA’s successful passage.
“I am grateful for the work by my colleagues in the House and the Senate to craft a bipartisan and bicameral NDAA that bolsters our national security and supports our troops,” expressed Rogers. “This bill will prepare our military to face the ever-growing threat of China by banning them from our American supply chain and modernizing our weapon systems.”
Many of Rogers’ Alabama Republican colleagues expressed appreciation to him for ensuring far-left provisions were barred from the bill’s final draft.
“In addition, this bill blocks the left’s attempt to push their social agenda through Congress by eliminating the provisions that would restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of servicemembers and require young women to register for the draft,” continued Rogers. “It also prohibits the DOD from dishonorably discharging servicemembers who choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, requires strong accountability measures for the Biden Administration’s debacle in Afghanistan, and provides a 2.7% pay increase for our brave servicemembers.”
Rogers concluded, “The FY22 NDAA is critical for Alabama’s proud defense industrial base that employs thousands. I am especially pleased to see funding for the Anniston Army Depot and increased funding for shipbuilding. Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide for our defense and to make sure the brave Americans who wear the uniform have the best equipment and training to defend our liberty and freedom. I am proud of the role this bill plays in that vital effort.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has long championed the positioning of Alabama’s defense industry and their contributions to national security. As the senator is serving his final term in the upper chamber, Tuberville has seamlessly transitioned into the role formerly occupied by Shelby to ensure the continuation of such support.
Alabama’s junior senator was successful in his efforts to score significant wins for the state’s robust defense industry.
Tuberville successfully advocated for essential funding for the authorization of hypersonic development and testing. As China’s investments are ever-increasing in the realm of hypersonic technology, Alabama defense contractors are rapidly serving in an expanded role in ensuring the United States holds the capabilities to combat such threats.
The senator specifically ensured support for the role Huntsville’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) plays in defending the homeland against the threat of foreign adversarial hypersonic weaponry.
Huntsville also received a significant boost of support as it is set to become the home of the U.S. Space Command. Tuberville secured funding for satellite security and space-based communications investment, as well as funding to address threats posed to the nation’s cyberinfrastructure.
Also scoring a major victory was Mobile’s position as a leading shipbuilding hub for the U.S. Navy. The fiscal year 2022 will see funding authorized for the construction of two Expeditionary Fast Transport Vessels.
The DOD in recent years has allocated an increased amount of funding to Alabama’s Gulf Region to support the advancement of the nation’s naval fleet. The funding secured by Tuberville ensures South Alabama remains at the forefront of such critical operations.
Fort Rucker also landed a significant funding victory as Tuberville sought $6.6 million to enhance the fort’s dilapidated barracks. Additionally, the senator secured funding for Montgomery’s Dannelly Field for infrastructure enhancements to support the 187th Fighter Wing’s transition to the F-35.
The freshman senator, who has placed a strong emphasis on supporting Alabama’s defense industry in his first year of service, hailed the lower chamber’s passage of the NDAA.
“An essential role of Congress is providing for the common defense, and the NDAA does just that by authorizing the resources our services members need to protect our freedoms at home and abroad,” proclaimed Tuberville. “It’s a strong bill for our national defense and for the state of Alabama, and I commend the House for passing this bipartisan, bicameral agreement language. As it stands, I would be proud to support the bill as written when it comes over to the Senate.”
According to Tuberville, the NDAA’s draft had been completed earlier this year. However, congressional progressives’ attempts to include leftist social measures within the legislation stalled efforts to pass the bill. Due in large part to the work of Alabama’s congressional delegation, Democrats’ efforts were defeated.
“The Senate Armed Services Committee concluded our work on this bill in July, and since then, our adversaries have wasted no time testing our resolve and ratcheting up their defense capabilities. Thankfully, our military is now one step closer to having the resources to do the same. We need to meet the challenges of the threats we face in this moment. The sooner we do that, the stronger and safer our nation will be.”
The NDAA now heads to the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to receive a vote later this week.