WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the top Republican on the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, voted this week in favor of advancing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The bill passed out of committee by a bipartisan vote of 23 to 3. This annual legislation, which contains a number of amendments and provisions authored by Fischer, authorizes defense spending and sets the policy and priorities for our military. Overall, the bill authorizes a total of $777.9 billion for national defense.

“For more than 60 years, the Senate Armed Services Committee has forged bipartisan agreements to take care of our military and provide for our national defense. The FY22 NDAA continues that proud tradition. The bill includes key provisions to give a pay raise to our troops, support Nebraska military assets, and modernize our nuclear deterrent, the bedrock of our national security,” said Senator Fischer.

Below are some highlights from the FY22 NDAA:

Nebraska Provisions:

  • Supports the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) pilot program to enhance medical surge capacity and strengthen civilian and military  medical partnerships, an important element in the Nebraska NExT vision.
    • Last year, Omaha was selected by an interagency working group as one of five sites to be included in the pilot program.

  • Authorizes an additional $11 million for barracks construction at the Nebraska National Guard’s Mead Training Site – an unfunded priority for the Army.

  • Expresses the committee’s continued support for efforts to rebuild Offutt Air Force Base from the severe 2019 flooding.

  • Recognizes the contribution Offutt-based RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft make and the increasing demand for the critical Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities provided by the 55th Wing. The NDAA further directs the Air Force to evaluate opportunities to increase the fleet’s operational availability.

  • Supports the long-overdue replacement of the Offutt-based E-4B aircraft with the Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC).

  • Authorizes an additional $5 million for the Research Engineering, Architecture, and Collaboration Hub (REACH), a component of the STRATCOM-led Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Enterprise Center.

Strategic Forces Provisions:

  • Fully authorizes Department of Defense programs to continue modernizing our nuclear forces, including the triad of nuclear-armed bombers, missiles, and submarines. 

  • Substantially increases authorized funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) – a semi-autonomous agency within the Department of Energy responsible for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. 

  • Extends prohibitions on reductions to the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force, as well as any change in the force’s alert-level or responsiveness.
    • The committee also unanimously adopted an amendment authored by Senator Fischer, recognizing the importance of the ICBM-leg of the nuclear triad and expressing support for the replacement of the legacy Minuteman missile with the Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.

  • Authorizes full funding for bilateral US-Israel missile defense programs.

  • Requires the administration to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review, and creates a congressional commission to evaluate U.S. strategic posture.

  • Additional investments within the subcommittee’s jurisdiction include:
    • $76 million for Hawaii missile defense radar
    • $165.8 million for NNSA science and engineering programs
    • $82.1 million for NNSA infrastructure

Overall Bill Highlights:

  • Increases defense spending to provide the Department of Defense with real budget growth to modernize our military and continue to pace growing threats, particularly from China.
    • Despite proposing significant increases for other federal agencies, President Biden’s original budget request proposed an increase in defense spending of 1.6 percent – less than the rate of inflation.

  • The committee joined together on a bipartisan basis and approved an additional $25 billion in defense spending, including:
    • Authorizing funding for the “unfunded priorities” of combatant commanders and military departments.
    • Authorizing additional funding to fully meet sustainment and restoration needs at DOD facilities.
    • Providing significant additional resources for research into key technology areas, such as artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and 5G.

  • Includes historic reforms on sexual assault and the role of the military chain of command within the Uniform Code of Military Justice process.

  • Authorizes funding to support a 2.7 percent pay raise for members of the military and reauthorizes special pay and bonuses.

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