WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today released the following statement after the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 passed the Senate:
“From increased salaries to improved base infrastructure and better care for military families, the one in eleven servicemembers who are stationed in Texas will be well-served by this bill,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The bill’s lasting impacts will be a fitting tribute to my colleague who served four years as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and twenty-five years representing West Texas in Congress.”
You can read the legislation here, and below is a summary of its impact on Texas:
- Raises troops’ pay by 3%.
- Authorizes $183 million for military construction projects in Texas, including:
o a barracks, flight simulation system, and F-16 Mission Training Center at Joint Base San Antonio,
o an F-35 Operations and Maintenance Facility, Vehicle Maintenance Shop, and Aircraft Maintenance Hangar at Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth,
o Fuel Facilities at Fort Hood, and
o National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) funds for the Pantex Plant in Amarillo.
- Authorizes 93 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which are built by Texans in Fort Worth.
- Increases funding for universities like Texas A&M that partner with the DOD in defense-related research and development.
- Invests in Texas students with $15 million for DOD’s STARBASE program in Austin, Houston, San Angelo, and San Antonio.
- Increases funding for Impact Aid by $70 million to support schools educating military children, and especially those with severe disabilities.
- Supports family readiness by ensuring access to high-quality childcare on military bases.
- Advocates for military spouses’ professional development with $2.5 million for reimbursement of re-licensing.
- Improves DOD’s ability to track and respond to incidents of child abuse and sexual assault on military installations.
- Responds to the pandemic by establishing a coronavirus disease panel to review the military health system’s response to COVID-19, evaluate its effects, and report to Congress by June 1, 2021.