WASHINGTON — Congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13) championed Texas’ defense priorities during the House Armed Services Committee’s Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) markup yesterday. Jackson issued the following statement in support of the legislation, which passed out of committee by a vote of 57-2. The NDAA will be considered on the House Floor in the coming weeks.
Jackson said: “From serving in the Navy for 29 years to playing a role in military funding and policy decisions, participating in my first NDAA markup was a full circle experience. Representing our district’s defense interests in Congress is a top priority for me, so I am proud to announce that I led and advocated for many legislative victories that will keep our district at the forefront of the national defense conversation for generations to come. The full House will soon vote on the 61st consecutive NDAA, and I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this traditionally bipartisan legislation that will ensure America’s military readiness and competitiveness on the global stage.”
• Builds on President Trump’s work to ensure the U.S. is the most dominant military force in the world
• Raises pay by 2.7% for both military servicemembers and the Department of Defense (DoD) civilian workforce
• Authorizes $778B in total defense spending, an increase from President Biden’s proposed $753B which was a budget cut from current spending levels and was rejected on a bipartisan basis
• Continues to modernize the U.S. nuclear triad, which is important as every nuclear weapon in the arsenal is assembled at Pantex in Amarillo
Key wins for TX-13 and quotes from local leaders are below.
Pantex in Amarillo is one of the most important facilities for national security given its critical mission. Jackson secured funding and legislative authority for the safety, security, and reliability of our nuclear stockpile, delivery systems, and infrastructure. Pantex has a central role in any modernization effort regarding America’s nuclear enterprise, and this NDAA will ensure that is the case for decades to come.
Funds High Explosive Synthesis, Formulation, and Production Facility at Pantex:
Jackson worked to include authorization for full, on-schedule funding for a new facility at Pantex to ensure the safety of the nuclear mission that is conducted there. This project will guarantee that Amarillo remains a critical part of the U.S. nuclear security enterprise.
Supports Workforce in Amarillo:
Jackson authored language to hold the National Nuclear Security Administration accountable for unnecessary delays in management and operation (M&O) contracts. Such delays cause uncertainty in employment status at Pantex, and Jackson’s language will prevent this in the future.
Jackson also succeeded in authorizing funds for defense programs conducted in the Texas Panhandle. This funding will prevent layoffs and ensure more projects in the short term so that TX-13 is competitive for DoD contracts in the long term.
Jackson advocated for funding that was approved for the Army’s pursuit of a Future Vertical Lift program to replace some of the Army’s existing portfolio of rotary wing assets. He also authored language to ensure that Amarillo is a part of these efforts.
Included in the FY22 NDAA is critical funding for upgrades and modernization efforts for the Air Force’s CV-22 aircraft, specifically for Nacelle Improvements. Jackson authored language to accompany the funding to encourage other military departments to undertake similar efforts, specifically calling on the Secretary of the Navy to brief the House Armed Services Committee on these upgrades. This work will be conducted in Amarillo.
Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson said: “Representative Jackson has continually shown strong support for Amarillo’s defense programs and their positive impact on our local economy. His work here includes full, on-schedule funding for a new facility at Pantex, ensuring employees at Pantex have stability and assurances anytime there is a transition of their M&O contract, and the modernization of rotary aircraft across the Department of Defense. These projects make certain that work is coming to Amarillo now and for years to come. I am grateful to him for ensuring that Amarillo’s contribution to the defense of our great nation is both recognized and secure.”
Amarillo Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jason Harrison said: “We want to thank Congressman Jackson for his continued support of Amarillo by championing for our entire business community, but specifically for some of our largest employers and partners like Pantex and Bell that are not only critical to the panhandle’s workforce, but also the security of the country as a whole. It is through his hard work that we are able to continue to grow and build a successful community for everyone.”
Since Kabul fell to Taliban terrorists on President Biden’s watch, Biden has actively worked in coordination with the Taliban. Sadly, the Taliban now holds more leverage as American citizens are trapped behind enemy lines and as billions worth of military equipment is now in terrorist’s hands. Americans are now concerned that Biden will continue to utilize American resources to support the Taliban. To combat this threat, Jackson authored an amendment to prohibit the transport of currency or any item of value to the Taliban. This amendment was adopted unanimously.
Jackson also authored language to help ensure we never witness a misguided withdrawal effort ever again. Jackson’s language will help provide oversight of the DoD when withdrawing troops from a country by urging a plan be issued to Congress at the earliest possible time.
Jackson included language in the NDAA that underscores the threat posed by Iranian proxy terrorist organizations. His language will require the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress a description of how the military capabilities of Iran-backed militias are improving. This comes as President Biden continues to loosen sanctions on the rogue Iranian regime even though they wish death to America.
Jackson included multiple provisions in the NDAA to address the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party. Building on his efforts from earlier in the year to stop American investment in Chinese military companies, Jackson had an amendment included to advance this initiative. Further, Jackson authored a provision that will hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its efforts to spy on critical infrastructure like agricultural systems and supply chains.