Thanks so much to many of you for joining our zoom with Blake Moore in October. One of the items we discussed was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and we wanted to follow up and let you know how things turned out. The House voted on the final version of the bill on December 7th and the Senate will pass it this week.
In October, we talked about the toxic red flag provision (the same language that was included by Democrats last year and then stripped before final passage) and a provision that would have required young women to register with the Selective Service (Blake voted against this provision during the House Armed Services Committee markup). Blake was able to work with House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers and Senate Republicans to get both of these provisions removed from the final product. Getting the Selective Service language removed in particular was a huge coup for conservatives.
We detailed some of the biggest conservative wins in our press release:
- “Red Flag” – removed provision allowing judges to issue ex parte protective orders that prohibit firearm possession. The bill makes no changes to law that would impact the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
- Requirement For Women to Register for the Draft – removed provision requiring women to register for the Selective Service. The bill makes no changes to the Selective Service System, how a draft would be conducted, or who would be conscripted.
- Office of Extremism – removed provision establishing an Office of Extremism at the Department of Defense. The bill does not create a new UCMJ article on extremism. It does not require the Department to establish policies to counter extremism or make troops take training courses on extremism.
- $15 Minimum Wage – removed provision requiring Department of Defense contractors to pay a $15 per hour minimum wage.
- Vaccine-related Discharges – prohibits DoD from dishonorably discharging servicemembers who refuse the COVD-19 vaccine. Servicemembers may only receive an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions. This policy will retroactively apply to the date of the DoD COVID-19 vaccine order and be in place for at least 2 years.
- Vaccine Exemptions – requires DoD to establish uniform standards under which servicemembers may be exempted from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for administrative, medical, or religious reasons. The DoD must consider the effects of natural immunity in setting medical standards, as well as whether the servicemember is approaching retirement.
Other notable wins:
- Afghanistan – In addition to incorporating much of Rep. Moore’s Afghanistan Accountability Act, the NDAA prohibits DOD from providing any financial support to the Taliban, requires a series of immediate reports to Congress on the withdrawal, contingency plans to retrieve Americans still in Afghanistan, an itemized lists of aircraft, combat vehicles, and other U.S. military equipment left behind and destroyed, and Directs the Secretary of Defense to recover all aircraft provided by the U.S. to Afghan Security Forces were relocated to other countries.
- Border Security – Continues funding for the deployment of National Guard to the border and reauthorizes authority for DoD to support U.S. law enforcement counter-narcotic and counter-transnational crime efforts.
- Supply Chain Security – Phases out the use of Chinese printed circuit boards in systems and equipment acquired by DoD in addition to requiring the DoD to prioritize domestic production of critical minerals and rare earth.
- China – Authorizes over $7 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, $2 billion above the President’s request, increases funding for new ships, submarines, long range precision fires, hypersonics, and requires DoD and DNI to assess the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in the origins of COVID-19.
All of the Utah-specific provisions that Rep. Moore drafted were kept in the final version (see more details here or view Blake’s one pager). These include provisions beneficial to Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community, such as full funding of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Program which will bring 4,000 jobs and six new buildings to Hill AFB, full funding of Hill’s Depot modernization efforts, some flexibility for the Davis county community to help construct base infrastructure, improvements to veteran hiring, and secured supply chains for military printed circuit boards with language included from Blake’s Strengthening Protections Against Chinese Printed Circuit Boards Act.
We’re thrilled to be able to deliver on these national security items and welcome any feedback or suggestions. We’ll reach back out soon to set up another meeting in January. My cell is 202-603-7181 and please call me or Blake anytime.
Thank you and Merry Christmas,