This week, the House worked on reauthorizing the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The NDAA sets policies and funding levels for our military and national defense on an annual basis. Ensuring America’s military has every possible resource they need to carry out their mission is one of Congress’s most important jobs and one that both sides of the aisle have historically come together to pass. The brave men and women of the United States military put their lives on the line to keep up safe, we owe it to them to provide the tools they need to do it.
The United States military is constantly present in dangerous areas of the world to be ready at any moment and have boots on the ground should any potential threats arise. Warfare is evolving, and our military must be equipped to follow suit. It is absolutely critical that our troops and military leaders have the technology, weapons, vehicles, and other necessary resources to effectively and safely do their jobs here at home and abroad.
While reauthorizing the NDAA and supporting our military is always important, the Afghanistan catastrophe makes this year’s legislation especially significant. The devastating withdrawal and surrounding chaos was a somber reminder that United States military is constantly keeping our enemies at bay, even if it’s not overtly happening on American soil.
After the Biden Administration’s catastrophic exit from Afghanistan that took another Missourian from us at just 20 years old and created an extraordinarily perilous situation for our troops and allies, defense spending and policy is particularly sensitive. In the two decades our military spent in Afghanistan, we lost 56 Missourians who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, most recently Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz.
These selfless Americans were there fighting for us - day in and day out - to ensure nothing like September 11th could ever happen again. I introduced an amendment to this year’s NDAA to honor these Missouri heroes and ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten. Unfortunately, even defense policy isn’t immune to partisan politics, which was proven when House Democrats wouldn’t even let my amendment be discussed or considered on the House floor.
It is hard to fathom members of the United States House of Representatives refusing to formally honor the lives of 56 members of the military who laid down their lives in defense of this country, but that is sad truth with Nancy Pelosi in charge.
While the refusal to take up my amendment to remember fallen Missourians is infuriating, this year’s NDAA does include some positive provisions that will reverse President Biden’s reckless cuts to our national security. Despite the President’s calls to reduce military funding, there is bipartisan consensus in the House that our military needs more funding.
This year’s budget increases our nation’s defense topline by 5% allowing for provisions like a pay increase for our service members who dedicate their lives to defending our country, funding for procurement and shipbuilding that President Biden has halted, and more funding for the missile defense system that is absolutely vital in modern day warfare.
No bipartisan bill is perfect, but our military is too important to let politics get in the way. I was proud to vote for the 2022 NDAA to provide our men and women in uniform with everything they need. They protect us every day, and I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to support them.
CONTACT US: As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.