Amata Welcomes House Passage of Major Bipartisan Defense Bill

September 23, 2021
Press Release
NDAA Includes Amata’s Amendments, Military Pay Raise, and Pacific Security

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata welcomed House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022. This major annual legislation authorizes Pentagon operations across the board, including priorities such as a 2.7 percent pay increase for our troops, and Pacific security measures, including $8.8 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, expressing U.S. commitment to a free and open Pacific region, codifying an Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, and numerous provisions addressing strategic challenges related to the government of China. NDAA is among Congress’s most significant legislation, authorizing $768 billion, and upon final passage it will be the 60th straight year for the legislation to be successfully passed and signed into law.

 

Congresswoman Amata and Congressman Joe Wilson a senior Member of the Armed Services Committee
Congresswoman Amata with Congressman Joe Wilson, a senior Member of the Armed Services Committee.

 

Additionally, this year’s NDAA includes two amendments through Congresswoman Amata’s leadership – a small business Radewagen amendment which she sponsored; and another on which she was the lead cosponsor with Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-California).

The Porter-Radewagen amendment follows up on a recent study of the Runit Dome, as commissioned in a prior NDAA, to establish reports to declassify regarding nuclear waste measures in the Marshall Islands to ensure health and safety, and prevent ocean pollution. The Runit Dome houses nuclear waste material from 67 nuclear tests conducted in the Marshall Islands before 1958.

“I especially welcome this pay raise for our military, as so many of our own from American Samoa join our nation’s proud all-volunteer forces,” said Amata. “Legislation affecting our military or veterans is always important to American Samoa, and the NDAA strongly expresses U.S. commitment to the Pacific, including alliances and strategic priorities. Finally, our amendment takes another step in standing with our allies in the Marshall Islands, and I appreciate working with Congresswoman Porter on that priority for their health and preventing ocean pollution.”

The NDAA provides for all Department of Defense activities, including supporting our Armed Forces personnel; military construction and housing; weapons systems and modernization; equipment and training; health care for the military, including expanded mental health assistance at bases; cybersecurity provisions; research and development; national security programs in the Department of Energy; and much more available in a 26-page summary.

Additionally, the NDAA establishes a commission on the war in Afghanistan, expresses the sense of the Congress of the importance of honoring commitments to Afghanistan partners, and authorizes $500 million to continue efforts to assist and relocate at-risk Afghanis and those with U.S. Special Immigrant Visas.

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