Washington, DC – Tonight, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report for the 2021 fiscal year by a vote of 335 to 78, a veto-proof majority. As a conferee, Rep. Salud Carbajal played a key role in drafting the final product, which includes several wins for the Central Coast.
“Every year, Congress sets aside our differences and passes a bipartisan NDAA that delivers for our military, our veterans, and our communities,” said Rep. Carbajal. “As a conferee, I worked hard to make sure the Central Coast had a voice in the negotiations and I’m proud of the wins we’ve secured for our community and our country.”
The Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act, which Carbajal introduced in the wake of the Conception boat fire, passed the House as part of the NDAA Conference Report. The bill directs the Coast Guard to enact crucial safety reforms to small passenger boats, like the Conception.
“My thoughts continue to be with those who lost a loved one in the Conception boat fire. It was a preventable tragedy, and I’m glad Congress has acted quickly to pass this bill and save lives,” said Rep. Carbajal. “Nothing can ever make up for the loss we experienced that day, but I’m proud to honor the memory of the 34 lives lost by working to make sure a similar tragedy never happens again.”
Central Coast Priorities:
- Offshore Wind: Protects and promotes offshore wind development off the coast of Morro Bay. The bill directs the Secretary of the Navy to report to Congress on their progress working with the Offshore Wind Working Group to identify a region for offshore wind development that satisfies all parties.
- Military-University Partnerships: Authorizes $18 million in research funding for military-university partnerships with our local universities. This funding will propel research for biomedical technology at UC Santa Barbara and unmanned aerial vehicle research at Cal Poly, ensuring our military has cutting-edge technology and students get hands-on research experience.
- Vandenberg and Space Launch: Includes a $5 million increase in funding for Space launch range services and capabilities, including for Vandenberg Air Force Base. It will also strengthen our oversight of national security space launch, to allow for reliable access to space while allowing competition and innovation to flourish.
- Directs the Department of Defense to remove Confederate names, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia from Army bases.
- Extends paid parental leave to all federal employees, including transportation workers and VA employees.
- Provides veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange, and who are suffering from cancer and related diseases, with long overdue disability compensation and health care services.
- Gives our servicemembers a 3% pay raise.
- Authorizes a Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a program to counter China’s influence in the Pacific by bolstering our relationship with our allies in the region and enhancing our defense and deterrence capabilities in the region.
- Limits funding for the Trump Administration’s controversial border wall.
More information on the NDAA Conference Report is available here. The bill will now move to the Senate, where it is expected to pass this week, and then head to the President’s desk for signature.
Rep. Salud Carbajal is a Marine Corps Veteran and serves on the House Armed Services Committee. He represents California’s 24th congressional district, which encompasses Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and part of Ventura County.