Washington, DC – Late last night, the House Armed Services Committee, which Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) sits on, unanimously passed (56-0) the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2021 fiscal year. The sweeping, bipartisan measure contains several of Rep. Carbajal’s proposals to advance Central Coast priorities and spur national security innovation.
“I’m always proud to advocate for our Central Coast values and I am pleased to see our region’s needs and priorities strongly represented in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” said Rep. Carbajal. “From a service member pay raise, to enhanced research opportunities for our universities, to preserving offshore wind energy opportunities, I’m proud of the wins this year’s NDAA will secure for our communities and the nation.”
Congressman Carbajal’s secured the following Central Coast priorities in the 2021 NDAA:
Support Vandenberg Air Force Base
- Directs the Chief of Space Operations for the Space Force to report on their efforts to sustain and improve the physical infrastructure for the ranges at Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB) and Cape Canaveral.
- Includes a $5 million increase in funding for Space launch range services and capabilities, including for Vandenberg AFB.
Foster Military-University Partnerships to Promote Research
- Secures millions in research funding for universities, including Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, to enhance their research partnerships with the military. This funding will propel research for biomedical technology, unmanned aerial vehicle research, and other technology to improve readiness and ensure our military has cutting-edge technology.
Move Toward a Clean Energy Future
- Advances offshore wind energy development on the Central Coast and restricts the Secretary of Defense from objecting to an offshore energy project prematurely without consulting Congress. In addition, the Secretary of Defense must conduct a briefing to provide an update on negotiations with the Central Coast’s Offshore Wind Working Group to identify at least two offshore wind lease areas near the Morro Bay.
- Advance policies to improve fuel efficiency for armored and tactical vehicles
- Directs the Air Force to report on how the use of augmented reality systems could yield potential cost savings, environmental benefits, and pilot readiness improvements.
- Enhances military operational energy capabilities by improving the Operational Energy Capability Improvement Fund, which makes targeted investments in energy science and technology, and facilitates the development of operational energy prototyping to advance technology that improves the military’s energy efficiency.
Additional wins included in the FY21 NDAA and supported by Congressman Carbajal:
- Authorizes a 3% pay raise for our service men and women.
- Supports due consideration for local and traditional news publishers in recruitment advertising.
- Authorizes $150 million for research and $1.5 billion to facilitate environmental remediation and cleanup to address harmful PFAS contamination around military installations.
- Carbajal offered and secured an amendment to extend the Government Accountability Office’s annual assessment of U.S. missile defenses to ensure sound Congressional oversight of missile defense procurement and development.
- Establishes Congress’ desire to enhance the US-Taiwan defense relationship and demonstrates America’s commitment to Taiwan’s national security.
- Restricts U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen
- Creates a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, directing $1 billion to increase our ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemics.
- Expands oversight and reporting requirements when military personnel are deployed to assist Customs and Border Protection at the southern border.
- Strengthens the diversity of the National Security workforce through a $3 million scholarship fund for Minority Institutions under the DOD’s Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) program and adds $17 million in funding for HBCUs and Minority Institutions.
- Restores $135.2 million in funding to the Cooperative Threat Reduction Account which strengthens our ability to counter weapons of mass destruction, including biological warfare.
- Directs the Department of Defense to remove Confederate names from military installations and defense property.
- Establishes a pilot program to take much needed steps to better address sexual assault at military service academies.
- And more.
Every year for the past sixty years, Congress has worked on a bipartisan basis to pass the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill provides funding and oversight for the nation’s military, defense, and security needs and will now head to the House Floor for a vote.
Congressman Salud Carbajal represents California’s 24th Congressional District, encompassing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County.