July 23, 2020

Crapo, Risch Support Bill to Provide for the Common Defense, Including Idaho Priorities

Washington, D.C. -- Today, U.S. Senators for Idaho Mike Crapo and Jim Risch voted in support of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to support our military personnel and their families and strengthen our national defense strategy.  This is the 60th consecutive year that Congress has fulfilled its constitutional duty to “provide for the common defense.”

“This bipartisan NDAA signals to our nation’s heroes in the Armed Forces that the country has their back as they defend our republic against the throes of ongoing threats by authoritarian regimes,” said Crapo.  “This NDAA provides them the vital tools and support necessary to continue defending our great country both at home and abroad.”

“In recent weeks and months, we have seen the United States’ foreign adversaries, such as China and Russia, escalate their malign activities around the globe in a direct challenge to our national security.  The FY 2021 NDAA will ensure that U.S. forces are equipped to defend against imminent threats and ensure the safety of our democracy,” said Risch.  “This legislation comes at a critical time for our country and the world, and I am proud to join my colleagues in supporting its overwhelming bipartisan passage.”  

The FY 2021 NDAA provides U.S. troops with a pay raise and more than 30 kinds of special pay, such as hazard pay.  It also strengthens our cyber readiness with investments in new technologies, including 5G.  The NDAA also focuses on countering mounting threats from hostile adversaries like China and Russia by establishing the Pacific Deterrence Initiative in the Indo-Pacific, sending a signal to the Chinese Communist Party that the U.S. remains committed to protecting its interests and allies in the region.

Senators Crapo and Risch secured a number of provisions important to the State of Idaho in final passage of the NDAA, including: 

  • Site-wide security, cleanup and waste disposal at the Idaho National Laboratory;
  • Funding for direct energy counter-drone systems, in which Idaho industry plays a key role;
  • Authorization of the Disaster Assistance for Rural Communities Act to allow small businesses and homeowners in rural communities to access disaster assistance;
  • Authorization of the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA) to boost nuclear energy innovation by fostering partnerships between industry and our national laboratories, including the INL, to demonstrate the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors to provide clean, safe, affordable and reliable energy production and advance national security interests;
  • A briefing from the Secretary of Defense to Congress regarding implementation of Sec.570F of the FY20 NDAA, which allows servicemembers to opt into having their contact information, including emails, sent to state veterans’ affairs agencies in order for state veterans’ affairs agencies to connect servicemembers to community groups that provide or act as intermediary for services, including job training, housing and mental health services; and
  • The Spent Fuel Handling Recapitalization Project at the Naval Reactor Facility. 

For more information about additional highlights in this year’s NDAA, click here.

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