WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) released the following statement today after the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 last night:
“This defense authorization bill reflects the House’s commitment to our service-members and to the safety and security of our country. I want to thank my friend, Chairman Adam Smith, and the Members and staff of the Armed Services Committee for their months of hard work on this legislation. Not only does it authorize key programs essential to a strong national defense, it also recognizes the link between the health of our economy and our national security. It also recognizes the hard work of our men and women in uniform by raising their pay and by extending additional parental leave benefits, including for foster parents. This bill expands child care and health care services for military personnel and their families while establishing a $15 minimum wage for those working on military construction projects.
“Critically, this defense authorization bill makes it easier for women in our Armed Forces to come forward and seek justice for sexual assault, reforms that are long overdue. It also would provide the Mayor of the District of Columbia with the authority to call up the D.C. National Guard, just as state governors can do in times of emergency. We saw in January just how critical it is for the D.C. National Guard to be activated quickly in response to a dangerous threat to public safety and to our democracy.
“Recognizing the growing threat from those who would subvert our democracy, this defense authorization bill includes provisions to strengthen our cybersecurity capabilities and to root out extremism. It reaffirms our commitment to bringing our allies safely out of Afghanistan and helps us meet the long-term threat from Chinese military expansion. Furthermore, it embraces new technology and innovation that helps us maintain an advantage over our adversaries.
“As we did last year, Democrats were able to include language addressing critical PFAS contamination that affects every single Congressional district in the country. Additionally, this bill once again recognizes that climate change is a major national security challenge that must be confronted. As the legislative process continues, I hope that the Senate will pass legislation similar to this one, and we can come to agreement on a defense authorization bill that supports our troops, their missions, and the ideals for which they serve.”