McConnell on NDAA: Our Men and Women in Uniform Deserve the Best

‘The U.S. military is the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. Our work in the coming days is meant to ensure this remains the case.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the National Defense Authorization Act:

“As I’ve said for weeks, our domestic challenges cannot take Congress’s eye off the ball of world affairs.

“So, as the Senate has passed other major bills, and Senate Republicans tried to advance police reform until Democrats blocked us, our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have worked hard to assemble the next National Defense Authorization Act.

“Every year, the NDAA allows us to speak clearly about the Senate’s priorities on matters of national defense.

“As China continues to treat maritime arteries like its own backyard sandbox, the men and women of the U.S. Seventh Fleet -- and the entire Indo-Pacific Command -- remain on call to maintain order.

“As Russia doubles down on its support of brutal dictators and attacks democratic regimes from dark corners of the web, U.S. Cyber Command remains vigilant and our NATO relationships remain vital.

“And as tyrants from Tehran to Pyongyang pave over their citizens in pursuit of power, we need our sharpest minds and best tools watching their every move.

“Our armed forces stand watch over our homeland, and they stand watch over an entire international order that shares our peaceful values and benefits our nation.

“And now, our military has also risen to the unique task of helping respond to the pandemic.

“Military medical facilities have added critical capacity during the first surge of COVID-19, from Navy hospital ships to soldiers from the 531st Hospital Center at Ft. Campbell.

“National Guard personnel have established and manned temporary testing facilities across the country.

“DOD research facilities have joined the race to develop treatments.

“So, as our servicemembers confront challenges new and familiar, our job is to advance an NDAA that supports them and their families.

“Chairman Inhofe and Senator Reed led a productive bipartisan process in committee. I hope we will see a bipartisan amendment process on the floor as well.

“But already, the bill will make major steps forward.

“It not only supports servicemembers while they’re at their duty stations -- but also on the home front.

“This year’s bill encourages expanded telemedicine capabilities in the military healthcare system, and it will help retain highly-trained providers.

“It implements new quality standards for acquisitions of military family housing and increases impact aid to school districts that support large numbers of military children.

“It revises sexual assault prevention policies to destroy barriers to victims seeking justice.

“And it includes further steps to ensure all these efforts are supported by a more efficient and transparent administrative structure at the Pentagon.

“That means changes to compensation to attract top talent… expanded access to cutting-edge software… and new checks on the Department’s budget planning process to increase accountability.

“The U.S. military is the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen. Our work in the coming days is meant to ensure this remains the case.

“Supporting servicemembers and their families are critical pieces of this year’s NDAA.

“Our men and women in uniform are simply the best. And they deserve the best.”

Related Issues: NDAA