Houlahan: NDAA Proves Bipartisan Cooperation Is Still Possible

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) issued the following statement after the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the House yesterday with a broad bipartisan majority:

“The annual drafting of the NDAA is proof that Republicans and Democrats can still come together to protect our homeland and support our troops,” said Houlahan. “This bill is a strong step forward that achieves those goals. This legislation makes smart, strategic investments to ensure our armed services have the tools they need to keep America safe in the 21st century.”

Houlahan added: “I am particularly grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who supported my provisions in this legislation. From securing the critical supply chains our service members and their families depend on, to offering veterans the cutting-edge workforce training they need to succeed in today’s economy, my efforts in shaping this legislation will make a difference at home in my community and across the globe.”

As the only member of the Pennsylvania delegation to sit on the House Armed Services Committee, Houlahan has played an important role in the drafting of this bill at every step of the legislative process. Many of her initiatives were included in the initial draft of bill, followed by ten amendments adopted with bipartisan support before the committee. An additional six were included during the bill’s floor consideration in the House last week.

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Through the NDAA, Houlahan is also leading the reauthorization of the premier grant programs – SBIR and STTR – that fund federal research and development by small businesses on projects with a high potential for commercialization. These programs are set to expire on September 30. As an entrepreneur who has scaled several businesses in Pennsylvania, Houlahan knows just how important seed funding can be to a small business’s future. Thanks to her efforts and position on the Armed Services Committee, these programs should be able to continue to help move innovative technologies from concept to marketplace, or from the lab to our government programs and systems.

With Russia continuing its war on Ukraine, Houlahan also pushed for the inclusion of a version of her bill, the Ukrainian Fighter Pilots Act, which will provide $100 million to train Ukrainian pilots on various aircraft systems to support their fight against the Russian invasion.

Houlahan’s work also created key new programs to improve the nation’s cybersecurity and digital talent workforce, reduce barriers for small American companies seeking to conduct business with the Department of Defense (DoD), and secure America’s supply-chains for the critical resources that fuel America’s technological edge:

  • A program within the Department of Homeland Security to offer cybersecurity training to veterans and military spouses.
  • Establishment of a Cyber and Digital Service Academy within the DoD to provide scholarships for those pursing degrees in cyber or digital technology and are willing to serve as a civilian within the DoD after graduation.
  • A program to provide incentives for private investors to invest in small American companies who are developing technologies critical to our national security.
  • Creation of a network for the DoD to leverage college student talent within the U.S. and allied nations to provide innovative solutions to our national security challenges.
  • Requiring the DoD to report on vulnerabilities in the supply chains of critical materials and an provide an assessment of domestic processing and manufacturing capabilities so we don’t have to rely on countries like China for critical materials.
  • Inclusion of The Women-Owned Small Business Transparency Act, which requires the SBA to report data on the number and dollar value of contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses.
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In addition to Houlahan’s initiatives, the NDAA included:

  • An historic 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers
  • Expansion of the talent pipeline for military and civilian personnel
  • Partnership with research institutions to accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies that will support those in uniform
  • Oversight to help mitigate and prevent civilian harm during military operations

The NDAA passed the House last Thursday on a strong bipartisan vote of 329-101. The Senate’s NDAA passed out of the Senate Armed Services Committee last month with a strong bipartisan vote of 23-3 and moves now to the whole Senate. Once the Senate passes its version, the two versions will be combined into one and voted on by each Chamber once more before being signed into law by President Biden. Continuing a long tradition of bipartisanship, this will be the 62nd year that the NDAA has been signed into law.

Find additional information on the committee’s NDAA work here.

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