Alabama’s senior U.S. senator, Richard Shelby, said Thursday that he was proud of his colleagues in the Senate for passing the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 86 to 14.
“Senate passage of this important national security measure is a vital step in providing for our men and women in uniform,” Shelby said. “With continued emerging threats, it is critical that we prioritize a strong national defense. I am proud my colleagues and I were able to advance this measure. I look forward to the upcoming work on the Appropriations Committee to secure funding for our nation’s defense and ensure our military remains the strongest in the world.”
The NDAA authorizes a total of $740.5 billion for national defense priorities and supports $8.15 billion for military construction projects. The measure builds on the last two NDAA bills to reinforce and accelerate the implementation of our national defense strategy, prioritize regaining our military advantage and further improve the Pentagon’s business strategy.
The 2020 NDAA focuses on leading technologies such as hypersonics and biotechnology, allowing the U.S. to remain competitive around the world. The measure also includes a 3 percent pay raise for troops while highlighting essential training and promoting opportunities for military families.
“I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in passing the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. “Every year, this legislation lets the Senate make our top priorities for protecting our homeland, our allies, and our global interests into law. And certainly, the recent behavior of our adversaries the world over shows why this task is as urgent as ever. This legislation has global reach, but it is also a profoundly local bill for communities in all 50 states.”
The House has already passed their own version of the 2021 NDAA. Passage of both versions allows a conference committee to craft a compromise. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the House version. He has also threatened to veto the NDAA if it contains a provision renaming military bases that are presently named after Confederates.
“The Senate is grateful for the courageous service of our Armed Forces,” McConnell said. “The bipartisan legislation we passed today honors their sacrifices and authorizes the resources to carry out their missions. Its impact will be felt not just by our adversaries overseas, but by our service members and communities right here at home.”
Shelby is serving in his sixth term in the U.S. Senate. He is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for authoring and advancing legislation to fund the nation’s defense operations.