Carbajal Votes to Pass Bipartisan Defense Spending Bill, Includes Central Coast Priorities

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Washington, DC, July 21, 2020 | comments

Washington, DC – Today, the House passed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2021 fiscal year by a margin of 295-125. The must-pass bill provides funding and oversight for the nation’s military, defense, and security needs, and contains several of Rep. Carbajal’s proposals.

“I’m pleased to see our Central Coast values are strongly represented in this year’s NDAA. I fought to include protections for our public lands, bring offshore wind energy opportunities to Morro Bay, and enhance our military-university partnerships,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Every year that I have sat on the Armed Services Committee, we have been able to cross the aisle and find a bipartisan consensus on these impactful and complicated issues. This bill is proof that when we work together, we can make a difference for our communities and our country.”

Congressman Carbajal secured the following measures in the 2021 NDAA:

Support Vandenberg Air Force Base

  • Directs the Space Force to report on efforts to sustain and improve the physical infrastructure of 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

  • Secures millions in funding for universities, including Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara, to enhance their research partnerships with the military and ensure our military has cutting-edge technology.

Protect our Environment

  • Advances offshore wind energy development on the Central Coast and restricts the Secretary of Defense from prematurely objecting to an offshore energy project without consulting Congress.
  • Incorporates the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, which includes Rep. Carbajal’s Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (CCHPA). The CCHPA extends federal protections to over 250,000 acres of land in the Carrizo Plain and Los Padres National Forest. The bill passed the House in February, but has yet to receive consideration in the Senate.

Make Life Better for Service Members and Veterans

  • Authorizes a 3% pay raise for our service men and women.
  • Authorizes $150 million for research and $1.5 billion to address harmful PFAS contamination around military installations.
  • Carbajal secured an amendment directing the Department of Defense (DoD) to consider the use of unofficial sources when determining a veteran’s eligibility for benefits if the service member’s records were damaged while in DoD possession.

Promote American Values

  • Directs the Department of Defense to remove Confederate names from military installations and defense property within one year.
  • Restricts U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
  • Establishes Congressional oversight of the President’s ability to invoke the Insurrection Act.

Additional priorities included in the FY21 NDAA:

  • Reauthorizes the Coast Guard and adopts critical safety reforms for small passenger boats, based on Rep. Carbajal’s legislation to address the 2019 Conception Boat Fire.
  • Carbajal supported an amendment requiring federal law enforcement to clearly display their name and agency.
  • Prohibits funding for explosive nuclear weapons testing.
  • Directs $1 billion to increase our ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemics.
  • Establishes a pilot program to better address sexual assault at military service academies.
  • And more.
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