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house Bill H.R. 6395

Authorizing $740 Billion in Military Spending for FY2021

Argument in favor

Congress’s foremost constitutional duty to provide for the national defense. While this bipartisan bill is a compromise, it will strengthen the military at a time when global threats are increasing and funding is hard to come by.

Alison's Opinion
···
07/22/2020
I do NOT support the current military budget! I support reducing it by 10% and using those funds to support pubic programs here at home in the areas of health. education, the homeless, and supporting small businesses all over this country. Anyone know how to change what appears to be me in favor to me being against, which is really where I stand....
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Jim2423's Opinion
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07/19/2020
I hope the majority of this money goes to American workers and not corrupt contractors.
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Jarret's Opinion
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07/22/2020
I’m quite happy that congress authorized a high, robust and necessary defense budget! The Space Force being solidified as fully fledged branch of the military is a real key to growth of our security in the future. Hopefully this budget will go towards modernization of equipment. I think a strong solid defense budget is needed to counter China and other growing threats. Just because we have a large defense budget doesn’t mean other government programs can’t be funded as well. Hopefully the public can soon see the strides the US military has been making on our “loyal wingman” program and the “sixth generation” future fighter jet program.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. shouldn’t be spending $740 billion on national defense, an amount significantly outpacing America’s most significant rivals. A smaller military would free up funding for other priorities.

AntwonKey's Opinion
···
07/22/2020
The Pentagon budget is way too big at a cost to domestic programs.
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Taylor 's Opinion
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07/22/2020
That money should be allocated towards so many other things. Stop investing in war and guns and start investing in communities and people
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Jeremy's Opinion
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07/22/2020
“Overseas contingency operations?” How’s about bringing the troops home instead.
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What is House Bill H.R. 6395?

This bill — the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 — would authorize $731.6 billion in discretionary defense spending for fiscal year 2021, of which $662.6 billion would go to the base budget and $69 billion to Overseas Contingency Operations. An additional $9 billion in mandatory funding would also be authorized. An in-depth summary of how its various provisions impact troops, military families, equipment, the Dept. of Defense (DOD), and various aspects of U.S. defense policy can be found below.

RESOURCES

Troops & Families: This section would fully fund a 3% pay raise for the military and reauthorize bonuses & special pay. It would authorize an active-duty end strength of 1,345,205 — including 485,900 in the Army; 347,800 in the Navy; 184,100 in the Marine Corps; 327,266 in the Air Force; and 6,434 in the Space Force. 

Professional development opportunities for military spouses would be continued, as would DOD efforts to provide families with affordable childcare. DOD initiatives to track & report incidents of child abuse on military installations would be improved. Oversight of privatized housing would be increased, and service secretaries would be prohibited from leasing substandard family housing.

Equipment & Construction: The acquisition & modernization of several key defense technologies would be stepped up under this bill, including:

  • $10.3 billion to procure 79 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

  • $22.3 billion for shipbuilding, including for Columbia-class & Virginia-class submarines, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, and San Antonio-class amphibious assault ships.

  • Funding would be increased for test materials, prototyping, and planning of hypersonic weapons development.

  • The B-21 Raider and VC-25B presidential aircraft recapitalization would be fully funded.

  • Additionally, this bill would prohibit divestment of A-10 Warthog aircraft, delay divestment of certain refueling & intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft.

STRATEGIC READINESS

Nuclear Deterrence: This section would improve DOD coordination, insight, and participation in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) budget development process, and improve transparency of the NNSA budget for Congress & the public.

Space: This section would make technical changes needed to continue implementation of the Space Force; continue development of the space technology base including launch vehicles and responsive launch; and authorize increased funding for space domain awareness, launch development, and space-based surveillance capability. The Space Force would continue working with research institutions to establish critical research infrastructure and develop the future workforce.

ADDRESSING THREATS

Russia:

  • The European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) would be fully funded and enhanced to support rotational forces in Europe. The DOD would be prohibited from using any funds to reduce air base resiliency or demolish protected aircraft shelters in the European theater without creating similar protection, or to close or return existing airbases to host nations until the DOD certifies that there’s no need for a rotational military presence in the European theater.

  • Restrictions on military-to-military cooperation with Russia and any activities that would recognize Russian sovereignty over Crimea would be extended.

China:

  • This bill would require federal agencies to develop a whole-of-government strategy for exercising diplomatic, informational, military, and economic power in competition with China.

  • The DOD would be required to submit a report on the military and defense implications of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative in Africa and a strategy to address impacts on U.S. military and defense interests in Africa.

Indo-Pacific Reassurance Initiative:

  • $3.58 billion would be authorized for the Indo-Pacific Reassurance Initiative to optimize the presence of U.S. forces in the region, strengthening and maintaining bilateral & multilateral military exercises with U.S. allies and partners; improving infrastructure & prepositioning of equipment and materiel; and improving defense & security capabilities & cooperation between the U.S. and its allies & partners.

  • This bill would prohibit the use of funds to reduce the number of active duty service members deployed to South Korea below 28,500 until 180 days after the DOD Secretary certifies that doing so is in the U.S. national interest; is commensurate with a reduction in the risk posed by North Korea; that South Korea is capable of deterring a conflict; and U.S. allies (including South Korea and Japan) have been appropriately consulted.

Missile Defense:

  • This bill would continue to mandate and support funding for a space sensor layer that is capable of tracking both advanced ballistic and hypersonic missile threats, and fund the development of sensor payload through the Missile Defense Agency.

  • It would also increase funding for Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) and Next Generation Interceptor (NGI) programs due to acquisition delays.

Alliances & Partnerships: This section would aim to develop & strengthen mutually beneficial alliances & partnerships as part of the National Defense Strategy, and would specifically:

  • Authorize $3.5 billion to fund the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), including their training, equipping, and sustainment.

  • Extend the Afghan Special Immigrant Visas program, which allows Afghans (and their families) whose service to the U.S. government puts them at great risk from the Taliban to immigrate to the U.S.

  • Express commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, which assures Taiwan of U.S. military support to ensure it has self-defense capabilities needed to resist any use of force or other form of coercion that would jeopardize its security, in addition to calling for deepened bilateral ties with Taiwan.

  • Provide $250 million in security assistance for Ukraine, require a long-term plan for assistance to Ukraine, and support NATO designation of Ukraine as an “enhanced opportunities partner.”

  • Provide assistance to Iraq and to vetted Syrian groups & individuals to counter the threat posed by ISIS, and continue efforts to transition security assistance to standing assistance authorities in Iraq.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • The deployment of military personnel to the southern border would require a certification that it will have no impact to readiness; that deployed personnel skills & unit missions align with support tasks required; includes a report on readiness levels and impacted training events for deployed units; and expands reporting requirements about the mission of personnel deployed and the cost of support provided to Customs and Border Protection.

  • This bill would prohibit the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to four countries with ungoverned spaces, including Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. However, it wouldn’t restrict other detainee transfers.

  • This bill would maintain funding for Stars and Stripes at FY2020 levels and require the DOD to report to Congress with a business case analysis to maintain Stars and Stripes as an information benefit to servicemembers.

  • This bill would require a study on the effect of allowing military spouses to contribute or make eligible retirement account transfers to the military Thrift Savings Plan.

  • This bill would prohibit the display of the Confederate battle flag at U.S. military installations.

  • A Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund would be created and funded with $1 billion to proactively improve the country’s ability to respond to future pandemics. It would also organize efforts to maintain the defense industrial base, supplies of critical national security materials, and authorize the DOD to enter into transactions with small businesses that help meet essential operational needs.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • This bill would require a DOD panel to complete the renaming of designated facilities within one year of this bill's enactment. Renaming preferences would include a battlefield victory consistent with current DOD conventions; a deceased member of the Armed Forces who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, was recognized for heroism in combat or other significant contributions, was a member of a minority group who overcame prejudice & adversity, has links to the community or state where the base is located, or served at the installation. Other considerations would include a preference for junior servicemembers, members of the same branch who represent the majority of current servicemembers at a base, servicemembers who were involved in conflicts since 1917, and those whose personal conduct reflects Armed Forces values.


This legislation is named after House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member William “Mac” Thornberry (R-TX), who is retiring from Congress at the end of this term. Thornberry served as chairman of the committee from 2015-2019 and has been a member of Congress since 1995.

Impact

Members of the U.S. military, their families, and retirees; foreign allies of the U.S. military; and the DOD or other affected agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 6395

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would authorize $732.4 billion in spending for 2021.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) offered the following statement about the upcoming retirement of Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX), and explained the decision to name the bill after him:

“As Ranking Member Thornberry’s time in Congress comes to an end, it is only fitting that we name this year’s defense bill after him to commemorate his service on the House Armed Services Committee and his more than 20 years of dedication to his constituents. Mac’s commitment to the men and women in uniform and their families remains as fervent as the day he arrived in Washington. He has advocated for smart reforms that ensure our service members have the resources they need to make our country safer, while backing programs that provide support to the families who serve alongside them. Mac leaves a legacy that will be with us long after he has departed Congress.” 

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-TX), who this bill is named after, offered the following statement after the committee unanimously passed this bill:

“Providing for the common defense is Congress’s first job. For sixty years members of both parties, putting our troops first and politics second, have come together to pass the NDAA and give our troop the resources, equipment, training, and policies they need to keep the country safe. This year, we have paid special attention to military families, who like the troops themselves, also do noble service for this country. While I don’t agree with everything in this bill, we have many opportunities ahead of us to continue perfecting it and I am pleased to support it.”

The House Armed Services Committee passed this bill on a bipartisan 56-0 vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Alex Millar / Public Domain)

AKA

William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

Official Title

To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2021 for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military construction, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed July 21st, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 295 Yea / 125 Nay
    IntroducedMarch 26th, 2020

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    I do NOT support the current military budget! I support reducing it by 10% and using those funds to support pubic programs here at home in the areas of health. education, the homeless, and supporting small businesses all over this country. Anyone know how to change what appears to be me in favor to me being against, which is really where I stand....
    Like (43)
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    The Pentagon budget is way too big at a cost to domestic programs.
    Like (76)
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    That money should be allocated towards so many other things. Stop investing in war and guns and start investing in communities and people
    Like (66)
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    “Overseas contingency operations?” How’s about bringing the troops home instead.
    Like (45)
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    UPDATEl Andy Biggs, my apologies, thank you for voting against this! This vote however does not undo the damage to my district, my state, and my nation you and the 'reopening committee' have done. Don't plan on a future representing anyone in politics. I plan on a class action suit for your disregard of your constituents and every death in our district. Or you'll be behind bars for the thousands of murders your and the rest of you have exacerbated. Why we should cut the Defense Budget: military spending and the 1033 program. Since 2016, defense spending has increased by close to 20%. Trump asked for a record-breaking $731 billion. Republicans in Congress then jacked that up even more to $740.5 billion. The U.S. spends more on military and war than the next 10 nations combined. REMEMBER, THAT $731 BILLION WAS DISCRETIONARY! SO NOW THERE IS $745.5 BILLION EARMARKED FOR WHATEVER? DOES THE ASS CLOWN NEED ANOTHER GOLDEN TOILET? GOOD GOD! GIVE ME BACK MY TAX DOLLARS! I DO NOT APPROVE! THE UNITED STATES WILL FALL AND BE REMEMBERED IN HISTORY ALONG WITH THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE! Back in 1990, as part of the “War on Drugs,” the NDAA of that year established the 1033 Program to provide military equipment to civilian police forces. Since then, militarization of police has metastasized like a fatal cancer – drones, armored vehicles, explosives, helicopters, grenade launchers, bayonets, large-caliber weapons, and military-type responses to people who are peacefully and legally protesting. Equipping police officers with military equipment does nothing to reduce crime or protect law enforcement officers from violence. Equipping cops with weapons of war inevitably leads to a war within suppressed communities. Police forces that use military equipment are more likely to kill civilians than police forces that have not been militarized.
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    Cut military spending
    Like (26)
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    Why is there always ample funding for the war machine, but not for universal health care, the homeless problem, addiction problems, theft from Social Security, numerous golf trips (with Secret Service costs) to Mar-A-Lago, etc.?
    Like (24)
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    Thank you Jamie Raskin for voting “Nay” on this bloated defense budget. Hopefully funds can be redirected to higher priorities like COVID-19 control and economic recovery from this disaster, and Justice in Policing.
    Like (23)
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    I hope the majority of this money goes to American workers and not corrupt contractors.
    Like (22)
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    $10 Billion for 79 new aircraft? Imagine what $10,000,000,000 in our education system could do for the future of our society
    Like (19)
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    I think it is a good idea to have a large amount of money going to our defense operations, however I find it absolutely absurd that our military spending is continuing to skyrocket! We have more than double the amount of China’s military spending and around 11 times the amount of Russia’s. But for some reason we want to keep increasing that number. I cannot comprehend this decision that leaves our education underfunded, our healthcare materials during COVID-19 inadequate, hundreds of thousands of people homeless, and people who work multiple jobs on minimum wage only to not receive the healthcare that they need to stay alive. Just to have our military spending surge. Once again leaving the majority of the middle class and all of the working class Americans to be disappointed in our congressmen and women who voted for this bill.
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    I would like to see equivalent and greater spending for: coronavirus testing; extending unemployment benefits for american workers and families who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic; fully funding the centers for disease control; providing states with all the funding they need for PPE and testing; and providing rent/mortgage assistance to families and workers who have lost their jobs and now risk evication and foreclosure.
    Like (14)
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    Not one red cent until they get their accounting books in order
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    The military has too much funding already. That money needs to be allocated elsewhere. Like to education or healthcare.
    Like (12)
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    We need to start figuring out how to cut this ridiculous budget down. Our impact to the world should not be our military.
    Like (12)
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    This money is needed elsewhere. Our country is falling apart. Literally! Bridges need to be replaced, roads need work. This money could make needed changes and give people jobs. Our military doesn't need billions for discretionary funding. What does that even mean?
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    We already spend more than 55% of our annual budget on the military, paramilitary and other such nonsense. We are not spending for “protection of national security”, this money is going directly to expanding our obsession with oil imperialism. Why does housing, environmental protection, agriculture, food programs, welfare programming, and education have to fight for the other 40% of the budget? The ones really affected are the TAXPAYERS. STOP SPENDING MY MONEY TO KILL OTHER PEOPLES CHILDREN.
    Like (9)
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    I’m quite happy that congress authorized a high, robust and necessary defense budget! The Space Force being solidified as fully fledged branch of the military is a real key to growth of our security in the future. Hopefully this budget will go towards modernization of equipment. I think a strong solid defense budget is needed to counter China and other growing threats. Just because we have a large defense budget doesn’t mean other government programs can’t be funded as well. Hopefully the public can soon see the strides the US military has been making on our “loyal wingman” program and the “sixth generation” future fighter jet program.
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    They already get way too much!
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    We need to rethink where our budget is allocated. Military spending is too high and we need to spread that funding across social services, education, scientific research etc. We should not be spending so much on military research, weaponry, arms etc.
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