Valadao votes to pass Defense Act. Passage could mean $50 million for NAS Lemoore

By The Leader Staff
Rep. David Valadao
Rep. David Valadao

Kings County’s congressman, David Valadao, has been keeping busy, having recently voted yes on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that guides defense priorities and authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other national security programs in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Include in the list of funded projects is $50,000,000 for Lemoore Naval Air Station to complete projects related to the Navy’s newest fighter, the F-35.

“In Congress, my most important duty is ensuring the safety of all Americans, including my constituents in California’s 21st Congressional District,” said Valadao. “I am committed to supporting our troops and securing a strong national defense by voting yes on the National Defense Authorization Act.”

The NDAA guides defense priorities and authorizes funding for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and certain national security programs of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The NDAA for FY22 authorizes $778 billion in Defense discretionary spending with $147 billion for Procurement, $118 billion for Research and Development, $253 billion for Operation and Maintenance, $194 billion for Military Personnel, and Health, and $14 billion for Military Construction.

Furthermore, the bill authorizes a 2.7% pay increase for service members, increases parental leave, expands the in-home childcare pilot program, and improves support available to military families with special needs children.

Additionally, The NDAA authorizes $50,000,000 to Naval Air Station Lemoore to complete Hangar 6 Phase 2, which will allow NAS Lemoore to support the mission requirements for the F-35.

To ensure greater accountability on recent actions in Afghanistan, the bill requires a series of immediate reports to Congress on the following:

  • How the DoD will support the immediate evacuation of American citizens, legal permanent residents, and other Afghan allies from Afghanistan
  • Number of Americans left behind in Afghanistan
  • Personally, identifying information and biometrics of Americans and Afghan allies now in the hands of the Taliban
  • Itemized lists of aircraft, combat vehicles and other U.S. military equipment left behind
  • Threats posed by al-Qaeda and other terrorists operating in Afghanistan
  • Strategic impacts of abandoning Bagram Air Base
  • Taliban relationship with foreign terrorist organizations
  • Security impacts on the Taliban release of terrorist prisoners
  • Financial assets and other resources available to the Taliban

The bill also authorizes $250 million to conduct counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and prohibits the DoD from providing any financial support to the Taliban.

The NDAA is also strong on China:

  • Phases out the use of Chinese printed circuit boards in systems and equipment acquired by the DoD
  • Prohibits DoD from acquiring personal protective equipment from China
  • Requires DoD to map its supply chain to identify and remove Chinese sources of materials
  • Requires DoD to reduce its reliance on China for rare earth elements
  • Reaffirms U.S. commitment to the defense of allies in the Indo-Pacific Region
  • Establishes that it is the policy of the U.S. to maintain its ability to stop countries like China from seizing control of allied nations such as Taiwan
  • Prohibits the use of DoD funds to conduct research, including biomedical, infectious disease, and genomic research in China or with any entity controlled by the Chinese Communist Party
  • Requires DoD and the Director of National Intelligence to assess the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in the origins of COVID-19
  • Prohibits DoD from acquiring any goods produced with Uyghur forced labor
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