December 7, 2021
Webster Statement on Defense Bill Vote
Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R – Clermont, released the following statement on his vote to pass the House Amendment to S. 1605, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 or FY22 NDAA.
“By rejecting President Biden’s cuts to readiness and responsibly investing in our warfighters, training, maintenance, and critical capabilities this bill greatly improves our national defense. Further, it recognizes the threats posed by China and Iran and holds the Administration accountable for their disastrous and embarrassing withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“I applaud Republican negotiators for removing poison pills from this legislation, including sections that could result in women being drafted and service members being unjustly deprived of their Second Amendment rights. Our negotiators also removed provisions that would create an Office of Extremism at the Department of Defense and establish policies or require troops to take training courses about so-called extremism.
"The bill also prohibits anything other than an Honorable Discharge for servicemembers who decline a COVID-19 vaccination and requires uniform procedures for vaccine exemptions, including recognizing natural immunity. This policy will retroactively apply to the date of the DoD COVID-19 vaccine order and be in place for at least 2 years.”
The FY22 NDAA:
- Authorizes 2.7% pay increase for servicemembers and extends military recruitment and retention bonuses and special pay.
- Invests in service-member family housing.
- Focuses investment on new and emerging weapon systems capable of penetrating denied operating environments such as China.
- Puts the Navy back on track to building a 355 ship Navy.
- Includes unprecedented levels of investment in emerging technologies, including AI, quantum computing, hypersonic, and autonomous systems.
- Prevents Russian and Chinese officials from accessing U.S. missile defense sites.
- Prevents President Biden’s cuts to the military health program.
- Fully funds the modernization of our nuclear triad and modernization.
- Prohibits closing Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison or transferring of terrorists held there.
- Requires DoD to report to Congress on the costs and time wasted on training on topics like diversity, inclusion, and equity.
On Afghanistan, the bill requires a series of immediate reports to Congress, including:
- Number of Americans left behind in Afghanistan.
- Personally, identifying information and biometrics of Americans now in the hands of the Taliban.
- Itemized lists of aircraft, combat vehicles and other U.S. military equipment left behind.
- Threats posed by Al Qaeda and other terrorists operating in Afghanistan.
- Strategic impacts of abandoning Bagram Air Base.
- Taliban relationship with foreign terrorist organizations.
- Security impacts on the Taliban release of terrorist prisoners.
- Financial assets and other resources available to the Taliban.