Press Releases

Rice Amendments Included in Passage of FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Bill

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Washington, July 21, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today voted in support of H.R. 6395 The William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included three amendments she led to increase oversight of border wall contracts, strengthen cybersecurity for vulnerable government agencies, and support survivors of sexual assault, sexual or gender harassment, and intimate partner violence. The annual defense authorization bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 295-125. 

“This year’s defense spending bill grants our military with a well-deserved pay raise and allocates the funding and resources needed to keep our nation secure,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “I was proud to offer key amendments to the annual bill, and I am pleased it has passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support once again.” 

The FY 2021 NDAA authorizes $731.6 billion in defense spending over the next year, and:

  • Authorizes a 3 percent pay raise for members of the military;
  • Expands paid parental leave for certain federal civilian employees inadvertently omitted in last year’s bill;
  • Creates a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, directing $1 billion to efforts to proactively increase the country’s ability to prepare for and respond to pandemics;
  • Requires all military bases and infrastructure named for individuals who served in the Confederacy to be changed within one year and prohibits the display of the Confederate flag on any Department of Defense installation. 

Rice successfully sponsored and offered her support for amendments in the FY 2021 NDAA, including:

  • An amendment which would implement a recommendation from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission by authorizing the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to provide cybersecurity services to smaller federal government agencies, upon request, who lack the bandwidth to run their own cyber operations.
  • An amendment which would increase transparency of contracts issued in support of the border wall by broadening the requirements for the type of contract actions that the Department of Defense must report publicly, and by requiring any modifications over $7 million to be made public.
  • An amendment offered by Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) based on Rice’s legislation to mandate that the VA portion of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class to contain information on care provided by VA for survivors of sexual assault, sexual or gender harassment, and intimate partner violence.

With passage in the House today, the FY 2021 NDAA must now be considered in the Senate and agreed upon in conference by both legislative chambers before being sent to the President for enactment.

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