Washington, D.C. – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after he voted for and the Senate passed by an overwhelming vote of 84-13, the conference report of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which establishes the nation’s military spending priorities for troops, including those at Fort Campbell, and supports important U.S. Department of Energy national security programs at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
“For the last 60 years, Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which prioritizes the men and women who serve in our armed forces,” Senator Alexander said.
“This year’s defense bill authorizes pay raises for troops at Fort Campbell and the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington and makes important investments in research and development of new technology that will help discourage Russian and Chinese aggression, and allow our military to deal with new and emerging threats. This bill will also authorize funding for advanced equipment to help ensure the men and women of the armed forces have the tools they need to protect American interests at home and abroad.”
Senator Alexander continued, “This legislation will also strengthen our national security by supporting important programs at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge to help modernize and maintain our nuclear weapons arsenal.”
The House of Representatives passed the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday by a vote of 335 to 78.
The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $740.5 billion to fund the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, which includes the following priorities:
- A 3.0 percent pay increase for members of the military, including troops at Fort Campbell.
- $26.6 billion for U.S. Department of Energy national security programs, which support critical work at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.
- Strengthens our national security by authorizing funds for nuclear weapons modernization, replacement of our strategic missile submarines, and environmental cleanup.
- Provides nearly $107 billion for science, technology and research programs, including funding for hypersonics programs, like ones carried out at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma.
- Creates a new Pacific Deterrence Initiative to discourage growing Chinese aggression and continues support for U.S. military forces stationed in Europe to counter Russian aggression.
- Reaffirms U.S. commitments to allies across the globe, including NATO and Israel.
- Prohibits transferring detainees at Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
- Supports development of advanced equipment to help ensure the men and women of the armed forces have the tools they need protect American interests abroad and work with our allies to defeat ISIL, al Qaeda, and other violent extremist organizations.
- Creates more employment opportunities for military spouses by supporting the creation of interstate compacts and helping military spouses get re-certified or re-licensed in their occupation if they move to a different state.
- Builds on previous reforms to the private military housing program to ensure that our service members and their families have access to safe and affordable housing and that there is proper oversight of government contractors.
- Authorizes the transfer of land at the Milan Army Ammunition plant to the City of Milan and to the University of Tennessee