Washington, D.C.— Tonight, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr voted in favor of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). After his vote, Congressman Barr released the following statement:
“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act authorizes a much-deserved pay raise for military servicemembers, funds to improve military family housing and prevents cuts to the military health program. Additionally, the NDAA reverses proposed cuts by President Biden for new aircraft, combat vehicles, missile systems and other key military weaponry that will be essential in defending our homeland now and in the years to come.
“Included in this package is a provision to ensure that no military servicemember can be dishonorably discharged for choosing not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This NDAA version also removes Red Flag law provisions concerning firearm possession and the requirement for women to register for the Selective Service System, otherwise known as the military draft.
“Furthermore, the NDAA contains critical measures that I have been pushing for to hold the Biden Administration accountable for their ongoing failure in Afghanistan. The NDAA authorizes $7 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, $2 billion above the President’s request, to combat the rise of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lastly, the NDAA provides $300 million in security assistance and intelligence support to Ukraine. This investment will counteract ongoing aggression from Russia toward Ukraine. For these reasons and many more, I voted to support the NDAA.”
Under the House NDAA, the Biden Administration will be required to submit quarterly reports to Congress regarding:
- Contingency plans to retrieve Americans still in Afghanistan;
- Itemized lists of aircraft, combat vehicles, and other U.S. military equipment left behind and destroyed;
- Threats posed by Al Qaeda, ISIS-K, and other terrorists operating in Afghanistan;
- Threats posed by prisoners released by Taliban during the Afghanistan evacuation. This includes terrorists released from Bagram Air Base, which Congressman Barr warned the Administration about in early May 2021;
- Congressman Barr previously pushed legislation in the House requiring the Administration to report to Congress on a regular basis on Americans left behind in Afghanistan, a plan to get them home, and details on military weaponry left behind.
In addition to the investments made in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, the NDAA also requires the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to assess the involvement of the CCP in the origins of COVID-19. The legislation also prohibits the DOD from purchasing goods from Chinese forced labor camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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.