NDAA Will Strengthen America in a Dangerous World

‘Threats to our nation are pulling American servicemembers in all directions. Fortunately, this NDAA has all of their backs.’

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:

“The Senate has indeed turned to what will be the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act. And if you look at world news, it would appear we’ve done so not a moment too soon.

“After months of threats, President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party finally delivered the punch in the mouth to the city of Hong Kong that they’re calling a “national-security law.” As I and others have warned for months, it tramples all over the freedoms and autonomy that have set Hong Kong apart.

“Today marks the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from the United Kingdom. Normally, this anniversary would have occasioned peaceful demonstrations.

“Instead, the new law has brought scores of arrests — and boasts from local authorities about how many peaceful demonstrators they have jailed.

“New harsh penalties for Hong Kongers for new and vague offenses. New authorities for Beijing to intervene at will.

“It appears to directly violate China’s international promises and effectively end the one country, two systems policy.

“I’ve discussed at some length the specific consequences China will face for this, and I’ll continue to discuss them in the future. This same week, we received new confirmation that China’s ethnic cleansing campaign against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang includes forced abortions, forced birth control, and state-enforced sterilizations on a systematic scale.

“All this in addition to the international provocations that China has only stepped up during this pandemic which they helped worsen – against Taiwan, against India, against the Philippines, and so on.

“And China is not our only adversary occupying the spotlight. Recent days have intensified questions about Russia’s negative role in the Middle East.

“I have long warned that Russia and other adversaries will exploit any American passivity or retreat from this important region. Whether in Syria or Afghanistan, the question is whether we will stand our ground and exert our influence, or allow Iran, Russia, and terrorists to push us out.

“Sadly, as the Senate turns to the NDAA, the need to continue making swift progress on our National Defense Strategy is staring us plain in the face.

“Fortunately, Chairman Inhofe, Ranking Member Reed, and our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have put forward a bill that rises to the challenge.

“The bill establishes the Pacific Deterrence Initiative. It lays out a clear vision for making our Pacific joint force more adaptable, and our commitments to regional partners more feasible. Smarter basing for forward-deployed Americans. More supplies and equipment pre-positioned.

“It will encourage more streamlined technology, so that from weapons platforms to information security, America and its allies in China’s backyard stand ready to counter aggression together.

“This NDAA authorizes full funding for the European Deterrence Initiative, doubling down on our NATO alliances as we check the worst impulses of Putin’s Russia.

“The bill will further limit the information Putin gets pertaining to missile defense…

“Bring more focus on tracking Russian support for terrorist proxies and despotic regimes… and renew our commitment to have U.S forces support, train, and keep watch alongside our partners.

“But it isn’t enough to check our adversaries today. We also need to outrun them toward the future. So this legislation will also support critical research to help us secure a decisive edge in everything from hypersonic weapons to 5G communications.

“Threats to our nation are pulling American servicemembers in all directions. Fortunately, this NDAA has all of their backs.”

Related Issues: America's Military, NDAA, China