Langevin Votes for Annual Defense Bill to Strengthen National Security, Support Servicemembers

Sep 23, 2021 Issues: Armed Services, Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems (CITI), voted for this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will strengthen our national security, support our women and men in uniform, and help bring our armed forces into the modern era.

H.R. 4350 will deliver a 2.7 percent pay raise for servicemembers, expand parental leave, advance key climate change initiatives, and improve access to mental health services for those who serve. The legislation will also reform the process for prosecuting sexual assault in the military by removing commanders from decision making about whether to pursue charges and by criminalizing sexual harassment in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. H.R. 4350 also contains historic investments in emerging technologies, boosting funding for basic and applied research and development by 36 percent.

“As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, it’s my job to ensure that our troops never enter a fair fight. I’m so proud of this legislation, which will reinforce our military’s technological advantage, support our service members, and make our country more secure,” said Rep. Langevin. “This year’s NDAA honors the immense sacrifice made by our troops and their families for the American people. Just like our brave women and men in uniform have our backs, this legislation reaffirms that we have theirs. I look forward to the Senate moving forward on this legislation, so that we can get this bill to President Biden’s desk soon.”

Langevin also secured a number of amendments in the legislation during floor debate, including provisions to:

  • Expedite pathways to citizenship for foreign students studying national security topics in the U.S. and other experts in those fields to better compete in the international race for talent;
  • Mandate 5-year terms for the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), to insulate the agency from the day-to-day politics of Washington, D.C.;
  • Follows through on a recommendation from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission to establish critical technology security centers in network technology, Networked Industrial Control Systems, Open Source Software, and Federal Critical Software;
  • Creates a science and technology annex to the National Biodefense Strategy, a key recommendation of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Langevin also successfully included more than a dozen amendments during the Armed Services Committee markup earlier this month on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to electromagnetic spectrum operations. He also authored provisions in the base bill to create a Joint Collaborative Environment at CISA, another Cyberspace Solarium Commission recommendation.

H.R. 4350 authorizes $500 million for Department of Defense relocation support to Afghan Special Immigrant Visas and at-risk Afghans, streamlines Afghan refugee processing, contains multiple provisions to address the strategic challenges posed by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and continues U.S. military support to our partners in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS.