Congressman Paul Mitchell (MI-10), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the House passed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, commonly known as the NDAA.
"One of Congress' core duties is providing for the common defense. The NDAA is of great importance to our national security and I am pleased that for the 60th year the House passed this important bill that supports our military and our nation.
This year's NDAA funds military readiness and modernizes our Armed Forces to confront threats to our national security. Critically, it provides our troops and their families with a 3% pay raise to ensure they have the support they have earned. It also includes provisions that address the need for an Indo-Pacific deterrence initiative, as well as support for capabilities important to Michigan's 10th District, such as strong investments in ground combat vehicles and a prohibition on prematurely retiring A-10s.
I am also pleased to announce my bill the No Passport Fees for Heroes Families Act is part of this year's NDAA, which will remove an obstacle to family members visiting injured servicemen and women while overseas.
I am glad to see bipartisan support for the NDAA and am proud to do right by military families and continue to build and maintain the strongest military in the world."
Several of Congressman Mitchell's priorities were incorporated into this year's NDAA. Some of those include:
A provision that waives passport fees for family members obtaining a passport to visit an injured servicemember overseas. It mirrors a provision in existing law that waives passport fees for family members attending an overseas funeral or memorial service for a fallen servicemember. Read more about Congressman Mitchell's work on this issue.
An amendment to address deficiencies in the Air Force's strategic basing process that denied Selfridge a squadron of F-35s, including analyses of community support, joint and all-domain training capabilities, and total airspace available for training as part of the strategic basing process for an aircraft.
A permanent authorization and increased funding for the National Security Innovation Network, which is a primary pathway to bring innovative thinkers and companies into the Department of Defense.
Investments in critical and innovative technologies under development in Michigan, such as development of fuel cell-powered vehicles, weldable ultra-hard armor, and advanced future generation hypersonic materials and manufacturing processes.