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Rep. Sewell lands wins for Alabama in National Defense Authorization Act

It passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday.

Rep. Terri Sewell on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, AL-07, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, announced the inclusion of key priorities in H.R. 8070, the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (FY25 NDAA), which was marked up and passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday night by a vote of 57 to 1. The FY25 NDAA makes the most substantial investments in the health and well-being of our service members and their families in years. Thanks to requests and amendments offered by Rep. Sewell, it invests in pancreatic cancer research, authorizes critical funding for research at HBCUs, and expands access to maternal health care for service members and military families.

Passed annually by Congress since 1961, the NDAA authorizes funding levels for the Department of Defense (DoD) and allows the Armed Forces to pay, train, and equip U.S. service members, support America’s allies around the world, and carry out essential national security operations.

Notably, the FY25 NDAA includes a 19.5 percent pay raise for junior enlisted service members and a 4.5 percent pay raise for all other service members. It invests over $17.5 billion for military construction projects, including $1.15 billion to improve the condition of housing across military departments.

“As a proud member of the House Armed Services Committee, I take very seriously my responsibility to ensure that our military personnel get the tools and support they need to keep our nation safe,”said Rep. Sewell. “I’m thrilled to report that this year’s NDAA includes the most substantial investments in the well-being of our military personnel in years including much-needed and deserved pay raises.” 

“This year, we worked very hard to secure provisions that support pancreatic cancer research, strengthen DoD’s research partnership with HBCUs, and invest in our Alabama military communities,” continued Sewell. “This bill is the product of strong, bipartisan cooperation and I thank Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Smith for continuing that essential tradition.”

Rep. Sewell secured the inclusion of key priorities in the FY25 NDAA including:

  • Supporting Pancreatic Cancer Research – The NDAA includes an amendment offered by Rep. Sewell requiring DoD to brief Congress on its pancreatic screening procedures and protocols for follow-up screenings, and how DoD is integrating biomarkers, early detection, and genetic testing into their pancreatic cancer research.
  • Investing in Research at HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) – The NDAA includes $125 million to support cutting-edge research programs at HBCUs and MSIs and create diverse, talented workforce pipelines.
  • Increasing Diversity in Military Leadership – Thanks to a request submitted by Rep. Sewell, the NDAA includes a provision directing the Government Accountability Office to review DoD’s progress in implementing a mentoring and career counseling program with the goal of increasing diversity in military leadership.
  • Expanding Access to Maternal Health Care for Military Families – Thanks to a request co-led by Rep. Sewell, the NDAA will improve maternal health outcomes by creating a pilot program designating pregnancy as a qualifying life event under TRICARE, allowing pregnant military spouses and dependents to seek out the best possible prenatal health care. 
  • Boosting STEM Outreach to Middle and High School Students – The NDAA includes Rep. Sewell’s amendment requiring DoD to submit a report to Congress on its efforts to reach historically underrepresented communities with STEM outreach to middle and high school students.
  • Supporting BESPIN in Montgomery – The NDAA includes Rep. Sewell’s amendment authorizing $2.5 million, for a total of $5 million, to support BESPIN, a DoD entity in Montgomery that enables IT capabilities for Airmen, including automatic cell phone application upgrades that ensure continued security. The NDAA also includes another amendment offered by Rep. Sewell requiring DoD to brief Congress on how it plans to maintain BESPIN’s capabilities in future years, ensuring the program’s longevity.
  • Supporting F-35 Simulators – The NDAA includes Rep. Sewell’s amendment requiring the DoD to brief Congress on its current and future inventory of F-35 simulators including those used at the 187th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Unit in Montgomery.

Lastly, to ensure the United States continues to address the interconnected nature of the challenges presented by the People’s Republic of China and persistent threats posed by Russia, Iran, North Korea, and violent extremist groups, the FY25 NDAA reaffirms our commitments to allies and partners by resourcing both the European Deterrence Initiative and the Pacific Deterrence Initiative.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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