This week, President Biden signed into law the FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included a bipartisan bill led by U.S. Representative Young Kim (CA-39) that aims to streamline and improve operations at the State Department by removing duplicative and outdated reporting requirements for Department employees and expanding access to foreign service officer training programs.
“Our foreign service officers play an important role in securing American leadership across the globe, and we must ensure they can adapt to changing circumstances to effectively pursue America’s international missions,” said Kim. “I’m glad my initiatives to improve State Department operations are now law so our officers can focus less time on outdated requirements and spend more time training to compete with their peers around the world. I was proud to support the passage of the NDAA out of the House and will keep working to create a more efficient, effective government and defense that can help America thrive in today’s interconnected world.
Also included in the NDAA were several amendments by Congresswoman Kim that would:
- Block deadly fentanyl imports to the U.S. and impose penalties on countries that allow illicit imports of fentanyl to enter the U.S.;
- Establish a memorial for our 13 fallen servicemembers from the Kabul airport attack and those who served in the Global War on Terror;
- Recognize Korean and Korean American veterans who fought alongside the U.S. in the Vietnam War; and,
- Create a National Digital Reserve Corps that would incentivize private sector cybersecurity experts to work for the federal government.
The NDAA delivers many important initiatives to support our military and defense, such as:
- Authorization of a 2.7% pay raise for our troops;
- Strengthened supply chain security for critical defense systems;
- A responsible increase in funding to support countering global threats;
- Support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and for Israel’s security and defense;
- Increased financial and mental health support for wildland firefighters;
- Provisions to hold Iran accountable for its malign activities; and,
- Clear support for Taiwan’s security.
The NDAA would also authorize continued accountability for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by:
- Providing $250 million for counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan;
- Prohibiting the U.S. government from transferring money or goods to the Taliban;
- Ensuring the Defense Department reports to Congress on expenditures in support of Afghan resettlement activities;
- Requiring the Defense Department to provide immediate numbers on how many Americans are in Afghanistan and itemized lists of U.S. military equipment we left behind; and,
- Requiring the Defense Department to submit a plan to Congress on how it will:
- Support evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan,
- Maintain air superiority;
- Conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions; and,
- Carry out counterterrorism operations.