O’Halleran Votes to Pass NDAA
WASHINGTON—Last night, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, legislation to fund American military operations that includes a much deserved 2.7% pay increase for servicemembers.
“After a tumultuous summer, it is imperative that we pass commonsense legislation that will ensure the safety and preparedness of our troops and operations at home and abroad and provide them the stability necessary to complete their important missions,” said O’Halleran following the vote.
The bill also included funding for modernization and upgrades for Arizona-based A-10 warthogs, aircraft O’Halleran and members of the Arizona delegation have fought to save from cuts and retirement. The measure includes an A–10 ATTACK wing replacement program, which will enable full fleet operations to 2030 and beyond.
Additionally, the bill includes the legislative text of the Grand Canyon Protection Act, O’Halleran-led legislation that addresses harmful uranium mining operations near the Grand Canyon and protects the greater Grand Canyon region from new mining claims and the contamination they would produce.
“Banning uranium mining in and near the Grand Canyon protects our Canyon, the health of northern Arizonans, the water supply of the Southwest, and the growth of our state’s outdoor tourism economy—I urge the Senate to keep this provision in their version of this legislation as well,” continued O’Halleran. “On the Navajo Nation alone, there are over 500 abandoned World War II and Cold War Era uranium mine sites that cause serious health conditions, like cancer, to this day. We need to get this done.”
In addition, the FY21 NDAA
- establishes a $15 minimum wage for covered DOD service and construction contracts;
- requires the Secretary of Defense to provide in-depth reports and briefings to Congress, providing critical information on the U.S. ability to counter terrorism in Afghanistan, accountability on the military equipment left in the country, and the plan to rescue American citizens and Afghan allies who remain in the country, ensuring transparency and ongoing oversight of the security situation in Afghanistan;
- and $500 million in DOD relocation support for Afghan SIV holders;
- makes historic changes to better combat sexual assault in the military, including removing the Commander from decisions related to the prosecution of sexual assault crimes and instead creating an Office of Special Victim Prosecutor to prosecute these crimes;
- requires a report by the Department of Defense on family size within the military, including if BAH accurately assesses the needs of military families.
- requires the Department of Defense to publish and make publicly available results of drinking and ground water testing for PFAS conducted on or near military installations, formerly used defense sites, and National Guard sites, like Davis-Monthan in Arizona;
- and much more.