Thursday night, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 passed the House. Many of Congressman Blake Moore’s provisions advocating for Utah’s defense community were included in the passed legislation.
“I am proud of the bill my House Armed Services Committee colleagues and I prepared for the House Floor,” said Congressman Blake Moore. “This legislation serves as a sharp rebuke of the Biden Administration’s significant defense cuts by restoring its funding to adjust for inflation, maintain our competitive edge against great power competitors, and modernize our depots. As expected, the majority included several amendments at this stage in the process that I voted against, but I will work with the Senate and conference committee to further refine this bill and keep the National Defense Authorization Act focused on its primary intent: to support military members, their families, and the warfighter. As Utah’s sole representative on the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue advocating for Hill Air Force Base and fight to ensure the interests of Utah’s defense community remain in the final bill.”
Many provisions beneficial to Utah were included in the National Defense Authorization Act, including, but not limited to, the following:
Ground Based Strategic Deterrent: Fully funds the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, avoiding harmful delays to nuclear modernization and providing Hill Air Force Base the ability to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent. This program is expected to bring as many as 4,000 new jobs and the construction of six new buildings to Utah’s defense community.
Assessment of Afghanistan intelligence failure: Requires an after-action report on the effectiveness of the intelligence provided to national security officials on the withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan, including an analysis on how intelligence officials could have improved all-source intelligence gathering and how future military withdrawals in terrorist contexts can avoid the mistakes made in Afghanistan. This provision incorporates language from Congressman Moore’s Afghanistan Accountability Act.
Improvements in veteran hiring: Expands the repeal of the harmful 180-day waiting period required of retired military members competing for Department of Defense jobs to include those at Major Range and Test Facility Bases. This gives the Utah Test and Training Range and similar DOD facilities the flexibility to hire who they need to fill critical vacancies in support of our national defense.
Military spouse licensing reciprocity: Requires the Department of Defense to establish a uniform process through which the professional licenses and certifications of military members and their spouses can remain in good standing when forced to relocate due to military orders and obligations. This expands the employment opportunities of military families and is a value add to the local economies surrounding military bases.
Improved printed circuit board supply chains: Bolsters supply chain resiliency and improves national security by requiring that printed circuit boards used in Department of Defense components are no longer from adversarial countries. This effort reshores manufacturing jobs back to Logan, Utah, and the United States and improves the integrity of military electronic hardware.
Increased allowance at remote worksites: Directs the Office of Personnel Management to propose a new remote site pay allowance for Dugway Proving Ground employees, providing an equitable remote pay allowance, which has been unchanged since 1971 at a rate of $10 per day. Adjusted for inflation, these hardworking employees should be receiving $65.10 per day for their contributions to our military readiness.
Defense community support authority: Expands opportunities for neighboring communities to assist military installations with the construction, management, and operation of a facility on or near bases, often at cheaper cost on an accelerate timeline. This language helps military bases improve aging infrastructure by facilitating community assistance that increases quality of life and workforce morale.
Congressman Moore is Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s sole representative on the Armed Services Committee. Read more about his work with Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community here.