Yesterday, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger was named to the conference committee on the House and Senate versions of the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) As a conferee, Spanberger will help shape the final language of the NDAA, one of the largest legislative packages passed by Congress each year. She is one of two Members participating from the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, and one of only two conferees from the Virginia House delegation.
“The strength of our national security and defense capabilities is rooted in our resiliency at home. The NDAA must address not only the needs of our nation’s military, but also the complex and interconnected threats that arise from climate change, global pandemics, cyber threats, and other national security concerns,” said Spanberger. “As one of two conferees from the House Agriculture Committee, I will be focused on making sure this defense authorization includes provisions that support firefighting efforts in our nation’s forests, strengthen the resiliency of our farm workforce, and encourage the use of innovative and sustainable wood products in future military construction projects. I’m also committed to working on a bipartisan and bicameral basis to make sure the NDAA reasserts the strategic importance of our alliances and partnerships around the world. Americans are less safe when we cede our global leadership role in the fight against multinational crises like COVID-19 and climate change. I was proud to see my amendment on national security threats posed by the climate crisis included in the version of this bill that passed the House, and I’ll continue working to make sure the conference legislation strengthens our strategic response to the climate crisis, gives our troops a much-deserved pay raise, holds federal law enforcement officers accountable, and develops coordinated strategies to confront authoritarian actors like China and Russia.”
Spanberger will work alongside Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) on NDAA provisions pertaining to the U.S. House Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, as Chair of the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, Spanberger will focus on NDAA provisions related to the resiliency of our farm workforce, the national food supply chain, and wildfire prevention and firefighting efforts.
Last month, Spanberger introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the United States’ ability to prepare for and respond to threats to public safety and national security. The ADVANCE Act would make sure the federal government is more resilient and better prepared to predict and respond to threats to critical infrastructure like our national defense, food supply, and healthcare systems.
In July 2020, Spanberger voted with a bipartisan majority to pass the House version of the FY2021 NDAA. The legislation included a pay raise for American servicemembers, Spanberger’s amendment to require the Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct reporting on climate change as a national security threat multiplier, and a Spanberger-supported amendment to require federal law enforcement officers to clearly identify their name and agency on their uniform, in response to the deployment of unmarked agents during demonstrations in Portland, Oregon earlier this year.
The also bill included Spanberger’s amendment to require the Department of Defense to explore opportunities for the use of innovative wood products in the construction of DOD facilities.