WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022, an annual bill that authorizes military spending and sets defense policy. The bill contains numerous provisions spearheaded by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., who serves as the Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations. These include measures to protect U.S. servicemembers from threats from foreign governments, to counter aggression by the Chinese Communist Party, to support the U.S.-Israel alliance, and to strengthen Orlando’s modeling, simulation, and training sector. The Murphy-supported NDAA also provides a 2.7 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemembers.
“As a leader on the House Armed Services Committee, I will never back down from keeping America and our troops safe,” said Murphy, a former national security specialist at the Department of Defense. “I’m proud to give our servicemembers a hard-earned pay raise and to make these key investments in our national security. Our country faces a complex array of threats from terrorist organizations and authoritarian countries like China, Russia, and Iran. This overwhelmingly bipartisan bill will deter our adversaries, support our allies and partners, and provide our troops with the resources they need to accomplish their missions and keep us safe.”
The NDAA contains numerous Murphy-led measures, including:
- A provision requiring the Secretary of Defense to swiftly brief key Members of Congress if the Secretary determines with high confidence that a foreign government is seeking to kill or severely injure U.S. servicemembers, either directly or indirectly through proxy forces. Once notified, Congress will be in a position to take action to deter and respond to such aggression. The text of this provision was taken from Murphy’s bipartisan bill, the DEFEND Act.
- A measure, drawn from bipartisan legislation introduced by Murphy, to require the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to prepare a report that identifies efforts by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to expand its presence and influence in Latin America and the Caribbean through diplomatic, military, and economic means, and describes the implications of such efforts for U.S. national security interests.
- An amendment that provides the Department of Defense with $5 million to conduct a competition in which small businesses in the modeling and simulation sector are awarded prizes for developing technological solutions to emerging national security challenges. Murphy’s Orlando-area district is a world leader in modeling and simulation and Murphy co-chairs the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus.
- Two provisions to strengthen the alliance between the United States and Israel:
- An amendment submitted in partnership with Congressmen Joe Wilson, R-S.C., and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., which would require the creation of a United States-Israel Operations-Technology Working Group. Developed in collaboration with Israel, this group would develop methods and practices to share intelligence-informed, military capability requirements, and provide a stand-alone forum designed to strengthen efforts to overcome current and future threats.
- Language requiring the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, in coordination with the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, to brief Congress on all current and planned collaborative activities between U.S. and Israeli special operations forces.
Additionally, the bill includes Murphy-led provisions to:
- Require the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, in coordination with the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, to provide a report on the current and projected force posture, capabilities, and activities of special operations forces in Latin America and the Caribbean, and how they advance U.S. national security objectives and address evolving threats from state and non-state actors emanating from this critical region.
- Provide an additional $5.2 million to enable U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command to purchase advanced combat diving equipment, some of which is manufactured by a small business in Murphy’s Orlando-area district.
- Require the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict to prepare a long-term strategy for U.S. special operations forces to recruit and retain individuals who are proficient in critical foreign languages. This is especially important as special operators focus more of their attention on great power competition with nations like China, Russia, and Iran.