Press Releases

Webster Votes for Military Budget Bill

Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Clermont) today released the following statement after voting to pass the William (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for FY21.

“The U.S. Constitution states that providing for the ‘common defense’ is one of our fundamental responsibilities. After last year’s partisan bill, I’m pleased to see the House returned to tradition of developing this bill with input from Republican and Democrat members.  This is a step forward in properly providing for our national defense by fully funding nuclear modernization, investing in chemical and biological threat reduction, and increasing funding to maintain our technological advantages.

“At a level not seen since WWII, we face significant threats from near peer adversaries like China and Russia as well as rogue states like Iran and North Korea. Ensuring the ability to counter these threats in all domains – land, sea, air, space and cyberspace is more critical than ever.

“Our freedom, our families, and our way of life would not exist were it not for our military. This bill builds on pay raises provided in recent years by authorizing another 3%. It supports our military families by improving oversight and accountability of government-owner family military housing and making improvements to military child-care centers.

“While the bill is not perfect, I thank Rep. Thornberry and members of the House Armed Services Committee for their work developing this legislation, particularly their opposition to proposals that would have imposed unnecessary restrictions and harmed national security. We owe our military a debt we can never repay.”

Highlights of H.R. 6395 – Mac Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act:

  • Fully funds the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI).
  • Provides an additional $3.789 billion for strategic sealift, satellite communications, refueling, submarine, and antisubmarine warfare capabilities that enhance deterrence against Russia.
  • Restores $135.2M in funding to the Cooperative Threat Reduction Account, fixing a cut of a third of the program’s budget, and raising the total back to FY20 levels.
  • Authorizes an additional $15.0 million investment in counter-Unmanned Aerial Systems for the further development, testing, and fielding of integrated, autonomous, multi-sensor cUAS capabilities in austere environments.
  • Continues U.S. military support to our partners in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS, while extending and expanding Congressional oversight over U.S. military training and equipping activities.
  • Authorizes $3.58 billion for an Indo-Pacific Reassurance Initiative to optimize the presence of U.S. forces in the region, strengthen and maintain bilateral and multilateral military exercises and training with United States allies and partner countries.
  • Authorizes $100 million, $25 million above the budget request, for the Readiness Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) to protect natural resources while protecting military installations from encroachment by development.
  • Requires DOD and the VA to ensure that information from the Burn Pit Registry be incorporated into Electronic Health Records
  • Establishes a scholarship for service pilot under the Department's Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Education Program for students at Minority Institutions to diversify and strengthen the national security workforce.
  • Creates a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund.