WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2023, authorizing vital funding for our U.S. Armed Forces one day after the 81st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The legislation also prioritizes funding for flood control less than six months after a deadly widespread flood ravaged Eastern Kentucky.
"Pearl Harbor is a grave reminder of our duty to maintain a modern military with the highest training and readiness around the globe. As we remember the 2,403 Americans that we lost on December 7, 1941, this Congress is committed to building a stronger national defense," said Congressman Rogers, Dean of the House. "The NDAA reverses President Biden's reckless cuts to our military fleet and new construction. It also ensures that our military servicemembers will no longer be discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine."
Since April, more than 3,400 servicemembers have been discharged without benefits for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine. The NDAA encourages the Secretary of Defense to ensure those veterans receive full benefits.
In regards to modernization, the bill authorizes the Department of Defense to invest $350 million for the Army National Guard's Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program. Kentucky is a candidate to receive some of the UAV aircraft, which would provide increased capability for the National Guard and ensure it is able to retain interoperability with active duty forces.
Additionally, the legislation includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022, which specifically names flood control studies and projects along the Kentucky River and its tributaries as priority projects, thanks to the leadership of Congressman Rogers.
"The bill not only prioritizes flood control in the Kentucky River valley, but also reduces the required local project match from 50-percent to only 10-percent for disadvantaged communities. This change is critical for our rural towns that were hit hard by the flood, and ensures that funding will not be a barrier as we take the next steps to protect our communities in Eastern Kentucky from catastrophic floods in the future," said Congressman Rogers.
Click here to read the NDAA: https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/BILLS-117HR7776EAS-RCP117-70.pdf