U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, proudly supported the conference report of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This year’s bipartisan defense bill includes a number of Senator Ernst’s priorities, including her work to support troops and their families with another three percent pay raise, prevent military sexual assault, ensure proper-fitting equipment for female servicemembers, and hold the Pentagon accountable.
“As a former battalion commander and company commander, I understand just how critical it is for our military men and women to be equipped for the battlefield of today and well into the future,” said Senator Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the United States Senate. “With my efforts, this bipartisan package helps protect our troops, promote emerging technologies, preserve tax dollars, and prolong Iowa’s role in helping maintain our national defense.
“We’re also taking the much-needed step to better secure America’s national security supply chain from adversaries like Communist China, and provide military families with additional well-deserved resources. The annual defense bill – one Congress has passed on a bipartisan basis for more than 60 years—is vitally important to our warfighters around the globe who are sacrificing for our freedoms and defending our nation.”
Below are a few of Ernst’s provisions that were included in the FY21 NDAA:
- Field proper-fitting body armor for female soldiers and hold the Pentagon accountable for equipment to ensure it protects all troops
- Increase funding for safer, more survivable military combat vehicles
- Make military courts handling criminal sexual assault cases more professional
- Lower the barriers for servicemembers to report sexual assault
- Include the Coast Guard Academy as part of the Defense Advisory Committee on the Prevention of Sexual Assault
- Encourage American manufacturing by increasing funding limits for American manufacturers to receive more sole-source contracts from federal agencies
- Ensure grant recipients of the Pentagon getting millions of taxpayer dollars include a price tag disclosing the cost to taxpayers for their military research
- Require every federal agency for the first time to provide a list of each of its programs along with regular updates on the costs and performance outcomes of each
- Increase funding for the Iowa defense industry to bolster domestic manufacturing for the latest in microelectronics including organic light-emitting-diodes for military pilots
- Clarify the Food Ingredient Requirements for food or beverages provided by DoD, and requires the Pentagon to seek comments from the public and subject matter experts within the food supply chain before making a final determination about food ingredients that directly impact servicemembers
- Improve foreign assistance programs for children in need by including the Global Child Thrive Act