Today, Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02), member of the House Armed Services Committee and a FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act conference report conferee, voted in favor of the conference report to the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The annual defense bill provides significant support for the country's service members, and their missions domestically and abroad.
"I am proud of the work I've done to advocate for the needs of our nation's service members and the critical missions they carry out, both in my role on the Armed Services Committee and as a conferee. I'm especially proud of my work to support new mothers serving in the National Guard, to provide additional support for our service members transitioning to civilian life, and to fund state-of-the-art weapons testing at White Sands Missile Range. Additionally, the final version of the NDAA includes a well-deserved pay raise for our troops. I urge the President to respect the longstanding bipartisan tradition of supporting our military and its needs by swiftly signing this year's annual defense bill into law," said Torres Small.
In addition, the final conference report continues to improve the quality of life for service members in uniform by authorizing a 3 percent basic pay increase, and includes several initiatives led by Torres Small. These provisions include:
Paid maternity leave parity for mothers serving in the U.S. National Guard and reserve components. This provision is identical to Rep. Torres Small's bill, H.R. 2927, MOMS Leave Act.
Another Torres Small sponsored bill, H.R. 5273, Securing America's Ports Act, which will strengthen border security by increasing the scanning rates of vehicles entering the United States at land ports of entry with large-scale non-intrusive inspection (NII) systems.
Secured comprehensive study on the adequacy of high-speed test track infrastructure at Holloman Air Force Base and its ability to meet current and future testing requirements.
Secured funding for directed energy testing at White Sands Missile Range. The workload and number of directed energy demonstrations and exercises have increased significantly since 1975, yet funding remained at constant levels. These funds will help meet the growing demand and support the appropriate test workloads.
Secured a requirement for an assessment of the Department of Defense on water and sewage resiliency at military installations, including opportunities for public-private partnerships, and barriers to addressing water and sewage resiliency shortfalls.
Included a requirement to report from the Comptroller General of the United States on participation in the Transition Assistance Program at small and remote military installations, as part of efforts to ensure service members transitioning to civilian life are supported.
Included a report on resourcing required infrastructure upgrades to the Army's Mobilization Force Generation Installation (MFGI) missions, primarily located at Ft. Bliss, TX.