Reps. Wittman, Luria Support House Passage of FY23 NDAA, Most Virginia Republicans Voted ‘Nay’

The House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with added funding after Virginia Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) blasted the administration’s original military spending proposals for not including a large enough budget and for planning to decommission some ships. Wittman was the only Virginia Republican voting in favor of the bill after the House Freedom Caucus criticized it the day before the vote.

After passage of the NDAA on Thursday, Wittman praised it in a press release: “In today’s increasingly divided political world, today’s passage of the NDAA is encouraging proof that Congress can still work together for the greater good of our nation. This year’s NDAA does right by our servicemembers and their families, reverses Biden’s reckless defense cuts, counteracts Biden’s harmful inflation, provides the resources we need to deter Chinese aggression, and protects our homeland.”

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House Armed Services Committee Approves Rep. Luria’s $37 Billion Increase to Biden Military Spending Proposal

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved Wednesday a $37 billion military spending increase sponsored by Representatives Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) and Jared Golden (D-ME-02) with the support of HASC Vice-Ranking Member Rob Wittman (R-VA-01). Some of the proposed spending includes $1.2 billion for a new guided missile destroyer, about $7.4 billion to offset rising costs due to inflation, and $1 billion for more Patriot missile systems.

After the HASC approved the increase over President Joe Biden’s original National Defense Authorization Act proposal, Luria said in a release, “The bipartisan Golden-Luria amendment passed today will increase purchasing power and counter inflationary pressures on the military, invest in public and private shipyards crucial to maintaining the fleet, and ensures that we have the resources necessary to counter the threats we face from China, Iran, and Russia. This amendment sends a message to our adversaries that we will meet the moment when it arises, and I look forward to negotiating with the Senate on a final topline amendment number.”

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Report: The U.S. Military Is Almost Completely Dependent on China for Key Mineral Used in Ammunition

The U.S. military depends almost completely on China for a mineral essential to the production of ammunition and other defense products, Defense News reported Wednesday.

The House Armed Services Committee released draft legislation on Wednesday which would require a briefing on the antimony supply by October and a five-year outlook on supply chain vulnerabilities, Defense News reported. The U.S. has no domestic mine for the mineral antimony, which is reportedly used in the production of night vision goggles, armor-piercing bullets, explosives and nuclear weapons.

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‘You Broke the Military’: Milley, Austin Set for Second Congressional Grilling on Afghanistan

Top American military leaders are set for another round of intense congressional grilling on Wednesday, following a day-long Tuesday session that at times featured blistering criticism of their part in the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

The Tuesday hearing placed on the griddle Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Frank McKenzie; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

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House Armed Services Committee Passes Bill Protecting Three Guided Missile Cruisers Based in Virginia

A major defense bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday, with spending for Virginia. Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said that Republicans led an effort to include an amendment that, in part protects three guided-missile cruisers based in Virginia from decommissioning. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 passed 57 to two. It includes a top-line spending level of $740 billion, up from President Joe Biden’s proposed $715 billion, according to Defense News.

“While defense is often and rightfully viewed as a national priority, here in Virginia, this additional funding fuels economic growth and the creation of jobs. This growth will further translate to funding for state priorities such as roads, schools, and law enforcement. With many of these ships built, maintained and repaired in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s economy especially stands to benefit from the passage of the FY22 NDAA,” Wittman said in a press release.

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Virginia Congressional Delegation Asks Navy to Keep Ships Homeported in Hampton Roads

Virginia’s congressional delegation, led by Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01), is warning the Navy not to forget the East Coast and Norfolk Naval Shipyard as international military and commercial dynamics draw attention to China and Russia.

“As we pivot towards the Indo-Pacific in our global force posture, it comes as no surprise that we’ve bolstered our presence on our Western Seaboard through increases in homeported ships. This increased presence is of such magnitude that San Diego has eclipsed Norfolk in the sheer number of homeported ships,” the delegation wrote in a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday.

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Tennessee Congressman Mark Green Outlines His Bill for Removing Critical Race Training from U.S. Military Academy

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee’s Seventh District to the newsmakers line to discuss his bill which would outlaw the training of critical race theory in U.S. Military Academy and others.

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Bipartisan House Leaders Say National Guard Presence at Capitol Is Unwarranted

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee called the current National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill unwarranted.

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith and Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee’s respective chairman and ranking member, asked the Department of Defense to implement a “measured drawdown” of the guardsmen stationed at the Capitol in a joint statement Thursday.

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Rep. Green Sends Letter to House Armed Services Committee Asking for Fort Campbell Hospital Funding

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) sent a letter to Chairman Adam Smith and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry of the House Armed Services Committee asking them to fund Fort Campbell’s hospital after the base saw soldiers go to New York, New Jersey and Boston to help fight the coronavirus.

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Scott DesJarlais to Serve on House Armed Services and Agriculture Committees

U.S. Republican Congressman Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee will join the subcommittees on Strategic Forces, as well as Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, according to a press release Wednesday. The Strategic Forces Subcommittee oversees nuclear weapons, missile defense and space programs.  The Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee oversees counter-terrorism, special operations,…

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