Today, after months of unnecessary delays, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) voted to approve the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill passed by a vote of 89-10 and included provisions that will benefit our military and make Americans safer and more secure.
“While Democrats haggled over their reckless tax-and-spend proposal, this vital defense bill has been on the back burner receiving little attention. Though it’s later than it should have been, the version we passed today is far better than President Biden’s original plan. It gives our troops a pay raise and puts real resources behind countering the aggressive actions of Putin’s Russia and the Chinese Communist Party.
“I’m proud to have secured several key provisions in this bill, including provisions to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation with Israel, invest in emerging technologies, and create a bipartisan commission to examine our two decades of war in Afghanistan. The bill also includes a plan I worked on with members of the Burmese community in Indiana to support the restoration of democracy in Burma,” said Senator Young.
As passed, this NDAA gives our troops a 2.7 percent pay raise and provides a 3 percent increase over the previous year’s military budget. This increase is more for our military than President Biden’s proposal, which would have slashed defense spending. This increase is critical to keep pace with the Chinese Communist Party which has averaged ranged between 7.2 percent and 8.1 percent increases in year-over-year growth since 2016.
Senator Young, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Marine who serves on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, worked to ensure the bill would strengthen our military, while keeping Americans safe amidst threats from coronavirus, Russia, and the Chinese Communist Party.
The NDAA was also a success for keeping liberal priorities out of the final bill. The compromise legislation rejected distractions that would have impacted the rights of Hoosier gun owners and would have required women to register for the draft.
Four of Senator Young’s national security priorities were included in the legislation.
Senator Young’s provisions in the NDAA:
The Afghanistan War Commission Act to establish a 16-member nonpartisan commission to examine military, diplomatic and intelligence activities by the U.S. from late 1996 to the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August. This is essential as we examine our two decades at war and our failed withdrawal from Afghanistan.
U.S.-Israel Cybersecurity Cooperation Enhancement to establish a Department of Homeland Security grant program to facilitate closer U.S.-Israel cybersecurity cooperation.
Pilot program on acquisition practices for emerging technologies to bring the themes of Senator Young’s Endless Frontier Act into the Department of Defense. This requires the Department to identify and award no less than four agreements for new projects to support high priority modernization activities that are consistent with the National Defense Strategy and creates an advisory group to bring private sector expertise into the process.
Support Democracy in Burma, a bipartisan amendment that was drafted with the input of leaders from across the Burmese community in an effort to restore democracy and hold those responsible accountable following this year’s coup. This amendment requires the U.S. government to examine supporting the National Unity Government, denying legitimacy for the junta, and the role sanctions could play in accountability.
Senator Young also secured the following provisions in support of Indiana projects:
Anti-Submarine Warfare Equipment:
As the United States engages in strategic competition, our Navy will be at the forefront of securing vital sea lanes, protecting commerce, and reducing threats to the homeland from the navies of China and Russia. Sonobuoys, like those manufactured by Ultra Electronics in Columbia City, Indiana, are a vital tool in detecting and tracking submarine threats from our peer competitors. Senator Young secured a 20% increase in funding to procure additional sonobuoys.
Persistent Maritime Intelligence Gathering:
Senator Young also secured funding support for two additional MQ-4C Triton drones, reversing the Biden Administration’s decision to not procure this aircraft. The Triton provides long-range intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeting capabilities over vast oceans spaces. As the United States seeks to deter against China in the Pacific, this airborne capability will be invaluable in monitoring China’s deployments of ships and aircraft. Rolls-Royce produces the engines for the Triton in Indianapolis, Indianapolis.
Vital Ground Combat Capabilities:
With Vladimir Putin and Russia threatening the security of Europe and the NATO alliance, now is not the time to reduce the acquisition of the necessary armor capabilities to deter against Russian aggression. Senator Young secured important increases in the procurement and development of the newest version of the venerable Abrams tank, the transmission for which is produced by Allison Transmission in Indianapolis, Indiana. This funding will ensure that the U.S. Army is fully equipped to win on the battlefields of today and tomorrow.