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Press Release

Rep. Castor Statement on House Passage of FY22 NDAA

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement upon the House’s second passage of the bipartisan FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“Our men and women in uniform risk their lives daily to protect our families, our nation and our interests across the globe. We owe them the support necessary to meet ever-changing national security threats, and that’s why I am pleased that we have a path forward to overcome Senate Republican obstruction of the passage of the NDAA.  Republican inaction is costly to our ever-evolving national security missions and leaves the military unable to plan operations effectively and confidently. When Republicans block a pay raise for our troops and fuel economic turmoil, it impacts everyone, businesses large and small and our incredible military families. Doing so as we enter the holiday season simply to score political points is cynical and wrong.

“This bipartisan defense bill will bolster our national security and invest in new, innovative technologies to maintain America’s competitive edge over our adversaries including Russia and China. The Senate must do everything in its power to send this bill to President Biden’s desk without delay.

“Investments including a 2.7 percent pay raise for our troops and an air purification assessment for base housing and other on-base facilities will better the lives of service members and their families. This follows up on my work to ensure that housing is safe and free from mold and shoddy construction – Congress is committed to continuing to ensure that housing is improved for MacDill families.

“This legislation will also help us make progress on some of our climate goals, as we do more to help military installations reach net-zero on energy, water, and waste by 2035. It also takes steps to boost climate resilience across our military installations, to advance military preparedness to the growing threat of wildfire, and to expand long-duration energy storage.

“Funding that I championed for Special Operations Forces also is contained in the bill, including an increase in funding to mitigate undiagnosed, untreated traumatic brain injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The NDAA will also invest in the Joint MISO WebOps Center (JMWC), which I visited earlier this year at MacDill AFB, to help modernize their work in the global information space.

“Important for all members of our military, this package follows up on the establishment of new diversity requirements for the Department of Defense, including the creation of a Diversity and Inclusion Council, and direction to change the names of military bases named after Confederate soldiers last Congress, this year’s NDAA takes further action to meet this moment and ensure our military is reflective of our nation. This includes the establishment of a basic needs allowance for low-income service members to ensure their families are taken care of while they serve our nation. Importantly, we also increase the allowable parental leave for primary and secondary caregivers, including foster parents, and an expansion of the in-home child care pilot program and financial assistance for in-home child care. These are important steps to serving our service men and women as well as they serve us. I urge the Senate to swiftly pass this year’s NDAA in order to better serve our heroes at MacDill and around the globe.”

The NDAA includes the following priorities for MacDill Air Force Base and Tampa residents:

  • Authorizes a 2.7 percent pay increase for our service men and women in uniform
  • Makes historic and sweeping changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice to combat sexual assault in the military
  • Makes key investments to address the threat of climate change and bolster energy resiliency across the Department of Defense
  • Authorizes record funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Contains measures to ensure our military is diverse and inclusive
  • Authorizes 2 weeks of paid parental bereavement leave for all federal employees 
  • Does not expand any statutory restrictions on transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay and requires the Guantanamo Chief Medical Officer to provide a detailed report to Congress on the provision of medical care to detainees at Guantanamo. 
  • Authorizes funding for Ukraine and the European Deterrence Initiative 
  • Continues aggressive oversight of DOD’s most complex and expensive weapons programs