Washington, DC -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the bipartisan Conference Report on the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes five provisions authored by the Congresswoman as well as other critical priorities for the U.S. Military and Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.
"This year's defense authorization is an important bipartisan measure to strengthen our security and meet the needs of those serving our country, including key priorities for Virginia and constituents of the 10th District,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “This legislation supports Americans in uniform with a 3% pay raise, ensures our country is better prepared to confront today’s national security challenges, and advances American leadership across the globe. I'm proud to have authored provisions to analyze foreign disinformation campaigns on social media, target Uyghur forced labor, modernize FinCEN's national security mission, protect hard-earned benefits of our federal workers, and help support sexual assault survivors in the military."
The NDAA authorizes approximately $732 billion in discretionary spending for our national defense, allowing our military to maintain readiness and expand capabilities while ensuring accountability to Congress and the American people. Notably, the bill includes a 3% pay raise for military personnel.
Wexton Sponsored and Supported Provisions
Allowing federal employees to carry over unused leave into 2021
As a result of a 7-month long effort led by Wexton to protect the hard-earned benefits of federal employees, workers would be allowed to carry over an additional 60 hours of unused leave into 2021. Read more here.
Standing intelligence report and briefing to Congress on foreign influence disinformation campaigns in federal elections
An amendment authored by Wexton would require a standing report and briefing on malign foreign influence efforts to spread disinformation on social media seeking to undermine federal elections. The report and briefing would analyze the amplification of such falsehoods by bot networks, social media users, and algorithms to better understand how it is circulated. Read more here.
H.R. 1414, the bipartisan FinCEN Improvement Act
The FinCEN Improvement Act, introduced by Wexton and Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA), was included as part of the 2021 NDAA. The bipartisan legislation would modernize the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), including enhancing the bureau’s authorization to protect against domestic terrorism and focusing on emerging methods of illicit finance such as cryptocurrencies. Read more here.
Requiring DoD to review retail supply chains for Uyghur forced labor
A provision successfully secured by Wexton would target products imported from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and sold in military commissaries and exchanges. It would require DoD to review the policies and processes governing its retail supply chains, and review potential links to regions where forced labor may be used, specifically the XUAR. Read more here.
Develops recommendations to improve access to resources for survivors of domestic violence throughout the stages of military service
The bill directs DoD to work with the private sector to develop recommendations that improve the effectiveness of preventing and responding to domestic violence. An amendment offered by Wexton to that provision would include recommendation for improving access to resources for survivors throughout their military service.
Pay raise for Americans in uniform
A 3% increase in basic pay for service members is authorized under this legislation.
Ensuring paid parental leave for all federal employees
The 2021 NDAA makes technical corrections to the paid parental leave benefit for federal employees passed in the 2020 NDAA to ensure those inadvertently omitted, including workers at the Federal Aviation Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs, receive the parental leave benefit.
Removing names and symbols honoring the Confederacy from Department of Defense assets
An independent commission would be established to make binding recommendations on the modification or removal of all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederacy from all DoD assets.
Improving identification of federal law enforcement officers responding to civil disturbances
Members of federal law enforcement agencies responding to a civil disturbance would be required to visibly display the individual’s name and organization. Wexton cosponsored the Law Enforcement Identification Act, introduced by Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) last summer, which would institute a similar requirement for federal law enforcement personnel.
Funds the restoration and advanced procurement of Virginia-class submarines
The legislation includes a Wexton-supported initiative to fund a second Virginia-class submarine, building on the FY2020 NDAA to maintain strong undersea capabilities while supporting Virginia’s industrial economy.
A fact sheet on the 2021 NDAA can be found here.