Terri A. Sewell

12/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/07/2021 22:22

Rep. Sewell Votes for Annual Defense Bill

Washington D.C. - Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. This bipartisan bill strengthens America's security and meets the needs of our servicemembers, veterans, and military families. Among its many provisions, the bill bolsters pay and improves benefits for servicemembers, combats sexual assault in the military, invests in our HBCUs, and modernizes our defense technology to keep America safe.

"Ensuring that our brave men and women in uniform have the resources they need to defend our nation is one of my most solemn responsibilities as a Member of Congress and one that I do not take lightly," said Rep. Sewell."This defense bill not only meets the needs of our servicemembers, but also invests in HBCUs, combats sexual assault in the military, promotes climate resiliency, and strengthens our national security."

"From Maxwell Air Force Base and the 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery to the shipbuilding industry in Mobile and missile defense in Huntsville, Alabama is home to countless servicemembers whose brave sacrifices keep our nation safe and secure," continued Sewell. "I'm proud that this year's defense bill gives our troops a well-deserved pay raise and uplifts our military families with critical support."

For the sixty-first consecutive year, Congress will enact this essential legislation and fulfill its critical constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense. The FY2022 NDAA authorizes historic investments in our diverse fighting force, innovation and emerging technologies. Doing so will ensure the Department of Defense can strengthen the nation's efforts to defend democratic values and strengthen our alliances in the face of challenges from authoritarian states - while modernizing our national security institutions and processes to keep families safe on the homefront.

Thanks to the leadership of House Democrats, the FY22 NDAA:

  • Provides a pay raise for members of the military: supports a 2.7 percent increase in military basic pay.
  • Meets our responsibility to our servicemembers and their families: strengthens parental leave for caregiving servicemembers, expands access to child care, improves financial security of low-income military members and those with families members living with a disability, protects military communities from PFAS chemicals and strengthens access to health care, including mental health care and reproductive care.
  • Takes historic action to combat sexual assault in the military: includes reforms such as removing the Commander from key decisions related to sexual assault and related crimes, creating an Office of the Special Trial Counsel within each service, criminalizing sexual harassment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and improving fairness and transparency across the system.
  • Protects our national security: combats our adversaries with new tools to deter aggression from Russia and China and to address transnational threats including terrorism, and supports our allies.
  • Invests in Historically Black Colleges and Universitiesto help build a fairer and more diverse Armed Services.
  • Modernizes our defenses:with robust investments in defense-wide R&D, cybersecurity and AI, so that we can fortify our military's technological advantage. This NDAA also ensures that our military readiness takes into account the challenges of energy resiliency and the climate crisis.

A summary of the provisions in the FY2022 NDAA is available here.