Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) submitted the following statement for the record following the U.S. House of Representatives vote to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act:
“On December 8, I voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to bolster funding, equipment and resources to our military to ensure the military continues to be a lethal and effective fighting force defending our freedoms. The NDAA also provides military servicemembers a much deserved 3% raise as well as continued hazardous pay for servicemembers serving in combat zones.
“The NDAA also includes significant COVID-19 relief for National Guard units, including the Kentucky National Guard—who answered the call of duty during the COVID-19 pandemic to serve their fellow Kentuckians and their country.
“Additionally, Congress phases out the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ability to finance through the World Bank and launches a historic $2.2 billion Pacific Deterrence Initiative designed to facilitate investments in the Indo-Pacific region and directly combat the rise of the CCP. This policy prescription strengthens America’s position against the threat posed by the CCP, which represents America’s greatest foreign policy challenge since the Cold War.”
“Although I was unable to vote tonight on the NDAA, for these reasons and many more, I would have voted again in support of the NDAA passing the U.S. House of Representatives.”
The COVID-19 relief included in the NDAA package for the National Guard includes more diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities and personal protective equipment needed to combat the pandemic within military ranks. Furthermore, the NDAA provides that servicemembers in the National Guard who were activated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic will also receive federal health insurance benefits if they got sick during their service.
For the Sixth District, the bill allows the United States to fulfill international treaty obligations by destroying chemical weapons and authorizes continued chemical agent and munitions destruction activity that occurs at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. This NDAA continues to support the partnership between the National Guard and local authorities, authorizing funding for drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in Eastern Kentucky.
Earlier this month, Congressman Barr successfully led the effort for the Kentucky National Guard to be selected to receive eight C-130J aircraft. The new of aircraft are scheduled to replace the fleet of C-130H aircraft sometime next year.