U.S. House Passes Defense Authorization Bill, Includes Pay Raise for U.S. Servicemembers & Spanberger’s Provisions to Protect 5G Networks, Recognize Atomic Veterans

The Bipartisan Legislation also includes the Congresswoman’s Amendments to Combat “Havana Syndrome” & Mitigate Financial Risks Posed by China

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger last night voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to authorize U.S. Department of Defense funding levels, increase troop pay, and help set the nation’s defense priorities.

The House-passed fiscal year 2022 (FY22) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a 2.7 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemen and women. Additionally, the bill includes a Spanberger-cosponsored provision that would require the U.S. military to provide Reserve and National Guard servicemembers incentive and special duty pays at the same rate as their active duty counterparts.

The bipartisan bill also includes several amendments led by Spanberger — including her legislation to recognize Atomic Veterans, respond to “Havana Syndrome” incidents, strengthen America’s 5G security, and combat financial threats posed by the Chinese government. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.

“A tough, smart national security strategy begins by supporting our servicemen and women and making sure they have the resources they need to keep our country safe. I am glad to support a much-deserved pay increase for those who put on the uniform as well as incentive and special duty pay for Reserve and National Guard servicemembers — particularly as we see our troops serve at home and abroad in the face of a global pandemic and evolving threats,” said Spanberger. “I am also proud to see this bill include my legislation to strengthen our 5G security and America’s competitiveness, as well as my legislation to annually recognize America’s Atomic Veterans — whose service and sacrifice were kept secret for decades. Additionally, as we confront the ‘Havana Syndrome’ attacks on U.S. diplomats and personnel stationed abroad, I am hopeful that my bipartisan legislation to build a whole-of-government response to these incidents can both help victims get the care they need and prevent future attacks. Our national security should never be a partisan issue, and I am encouraged that a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House voted to move this legislation forward to the U.S. Senate.”

The bipartisan defense bill includes several Spanberger-led provisions, including:

  • Honoring America’s Atomic Veterans every year. The House-passed NDAA includes Spanberger’s bipartisan amendment to recognize the service and sacrifice of Atomic Veterans. Specifically, the Congresswoman’s legislation would require the President to issue a proclamation every year calling on the United States to observe National Atomic Veterans Day. Earlier this year, Spanberger led the introduction of a bipartisan resolution that called on the President to issue a proclamation in observance of National Atomic Veterans Day — which he recognized earlier this year.
  • Combatting “Havana Syndrome” attacks and protecting U.S. personnel. The defense legislation includes Spanberger’s bipartisan amendment to strengthen interagency coordination and response to suspected attacks that result in anomalous health incidents — sometimes referred to as “Havana Syndrome.” Specifically, the amendment would require the administration to designate senior officials at the National Security Council and at relevant agencies to manage and coordinate America’s response. In July 2021, the U.S. House passed another Spanberger-authored amendment urging the U.S. State Department to protect U.S. personnel following a series of these mysterious, dangerous incidents.
  • Strengthening U.S. cybersecurity and keeping American 5G companies competitive. The House-passed FY2022 NDAA includes Spanberger’s amendment requiring a report on the national security implications of open radio access networks (O-RAN) technologies. This legislation would help keep American companies competitive, strengthen cybersecurity in the face of 5G risks posed by the Chinese government and associated companies, and provide increased clarity to government agencies, U.S. security partners, and the private sector. Last year, President Trump signed into law Spanberger’s bipartisan, bicameral legislation requiring a national strategy to protect American 5G telecommunications systems from foreign-based threats.
  • Standing up to financial threats from the Chinese government. The bipartisan bill includes Spanberger’s legislation to counter financial threats emerging from the Chinese economy that could negatively impact America’s economic recovery. Specifically, the legislation requires the U.S. Treasury Department to assess future risks and provide recommendations on how to strengthen international cooperation to monitor and mitigate these risks. Spanberger co-led this amendment with U.S. Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH-16).

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