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Rice Amendments Included in Passage of FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Conference Report

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Washington, December 9, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today voted in support of the Conference Report to accompany 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 335-78.

“I was proud to support the FY 2021 NDAA Conference Report, which makes critical investments to strengthen our national defense and provides our military with a well-deserved pay raise,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “This year’s defense authorization bill was agreed to by negotiators in the House and Senate, and it reflects the longstanding bipartisan tradition of supporting the needs of our troops and addressing the most pressing threats facing our nation. The President should sign this bill into law when it reaches his desk.”

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;
  • Strengthens the military’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future pandemics;
  • Requires all military bases and infrastructure named for individuals who served in the Confederacy to be changed and prohibits the display of the Confederate flag on any Department of Defense installation.
  • Expands care for Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Rice successfully sponsored and offered her support for amendments in the FY 2021 NDAA, which were included in the Conference Report, including:

  • An amendment which would implement a recommendation from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission to authorize 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 , 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 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 Conference Report must now be considered by the Senate before being sent to the President for enactment.

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