featured graphic for Michelle Steel, Congresswoman for California’s 48th District, after COVID-19

Rep. Steel votes in support of our troops, investments in national security

Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) released the following statement after voting in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), legislation that supports our military and makes key investments in national security. The NDAA is passed annually by Congress to establish defense priorities and authorize how funds in support of our military are spent. The NDAA has passed on a bipartisan basis for more than 60 years.

“I’m proud to support our servicemembers and military families by voting in support of this defense bill, which includes a 2.7% pay increase for servicemembers and reverses reckless cuts to our national security,” said Rep. Steel. “The bill ensures the U.S. is well-equipped to defend itself and deal with emerging threats from our adversaries. It also takes important steps to counter Communist China and hold the Administration accountable for the chaos in Afghanistan. I will always support our military and our servicemen and women.”

Several amendments co-sponsored by Rep. Steel were incorporated into the bill. They include amendments that would:

  • Expand eligibility for burial in U.S. national cemeteries for Hmong and Lao veterans from the Vietnam war.
  • Support the people of Armenia by urging Azerbaijan to immediately release all prisoners of war and captured civilians.
  • Honor the contributions of Korean and Korean American veterans who served in the Vietnam War.
  • Require the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for engagement with Southeast Asia and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Among other provisions, the NDAA:

  • Increases parental leave, expands the in-home childcare pilot program, and improves support available to military families with special needs children.
  • Requires DoD and DNI to assess the involvement of the Chinese Communist Party in the origins of COVID-19.
  • Prohibits the DoD from acquiring personal protective equipment from China and requires the DoD to map its supply chain to identify and remove Chinese sources of materials.
  • Authorizes $250 million to conduct counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and prohibits DoD from providing any financial support to the Taliban.
  • Requires the DoD to immediately submit a plan to Congress on how it will support the evacuation of American citizens from Afghanistan, maintain air superiority, conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, and carry out counter-terrorism operations.

The House also passed $1 billion in funding in support of Israel’s Iron Dome missile system, a defense system designed to destroy missiles launched into Israel. Democrats had removed the funding from legislation that passed earlier this week that funds the government through the next fiscal year. The standalone vote in support of Israel passed overwhelmingly.

This article was released by the Office of Representative Michelle Steel.