WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted for the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 that supports Wisconsin’s military members, families, and communities.
“I am proud to vote for the bipartisan defense authorization legislation that strengthens our national security, makes vital investments to support Wisconsin’s service members, veterans, and communities, and supports our Made in Wisconsin economy,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “This legislation supports our brave service members – increasing pay, providing parental leave, and investing in their health and wellbeing — and makes long-overdue improvements to the military justice system to curb and prevent sexual assault and harassment.”
Below are some of the major victories Senator Baldwin secured for Wisconsin:
Boosting the Made in Wisconsin and American Economies
- Senator Baldwin successfully secured an amendment to the NDAA to increase funding to more than $605 million for the Army’s heavy wheeled vehicles, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, produced in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
- The Wisconsin Democrat secured an additional $109 million in funding for the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck which are also manufactured in Oshkosh, after filing a bipartisan amendment in the Senate to increase the funding amount.
- Senator Baldwin successfully procured an increase of $25 million in funding for the Army’s Oshkosh-manufactured medium-wheeled vehicles, for a grand total of $61.8 million. These increases will help to provide sufficient funding to enable Oshkosh to meet the minimum sustaining rates (MSR) thereby supporting the Tactical Wheeled Vehicles industrial base, which is made of hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses across the Mid-West and thousands of jobs in Wisconsin.
- The bill also includes nearly $1.1 billion in funding for an additional Constellation class Frigate, to be built in Marinette, Wisconsin, as well as $69.1 million in additional advanced procurement funding for critical systems and components for the Frigate.
- The NDAA includes an additional $250 million in funding for the Navy’s amphibious transport ship (LPD) and as well as an additional $668.184 million for one additional TAO fleet oiler, allowing the procurement of two total TAO fleet oilers with provided funds. Both the LPD and TAO include Made in Wisconsin components such as diesel engines made in Beloit.
- The NDAA includes language at Senator Baldwin’s request that requires the Navy reports on efforts to reduce risks for the frigate program to address first-in-class construction challenges and increase confidence that ships in the class after the first ship will achieve the required capability upon delivery, on budget, and on schedule.
- The legislation bolsters American Semiconductor Production, mandates the establishment of the microelectronics research network, originally established in the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act (CHIPS Act).
Supporting and Honoring Service Members and Their Families
- The Senator Baldwin-supported NDAA includes a nearly three percent pay raise for service members and U.S. Department of Defense civilians.
- With Senator Baldwin’s support, the legislation increases parental leave to twelve weeks for all service members for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
- To ensure all service members can meet the basic needs of their families, particularly food expenses, a provision included in the NDAA creates an allowance for those service members whose household income falls below a specified level of the federal poverty guidelines.
- To address the high cost of housing, Senator Baldwin helped secure a provision in the NDAA to assess the basic allowance for housing (BAH) determination factors, including how the U.S. Department of Defense can better assess the accuracy of BAH rates, the methodology for the certain calculations, and if and how recent property cost data is being utilized.
- With the persistent problem of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) for warfighters, particularly in the Army, the U.S. Department of Defense has devoted funds to the treatment of this issue, but not directly on non-helmet TBI prevention. At the request of Senator Baldwin, the NDAA includes a provision that directs the Secretary of Defense to report on non-helmet preventive devices cleared by the Food and Drug Administration and a plan to study the effectiveness of these devices to prevent TBIs in training and combat environments.
- Senator Baldwin cosponsored both an NDAA amendment and corresponding standalone legislation that continues support for the construction of a Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) Memorial. This year’s efforts are necessary to embark on the next step of the construction process, identifying and authorizing a location for the GWOT Memorial on the National Mall Reserve.
Investing in Wisconsin’s Military Installations and Infrastructure
- Senator Baldwin secured a total of $44.2 million in the NDAA for military construction projects at the Truax Air Field Air National Guard Base in Wisconsin. Specifically, the legislation includes $13.2 million for a Medical Readiness Facility and $31 million for an F-35 3-Bay Specialized Hangar to support the 115th Fighter Wing’s (FW) F-35 mission at Truax.
- Senator Baldwin secured a total of $70.6 million in the NDAA for Army National Guard military construction projects at Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin. Specifically, the bill includes $12.2 million for Transient Training Battalion Headquarters, $29.2 million for Transient Training Enlisted Barracks, and $22.9 million for Transient Training Officer Barracks.
- The Senator Baldwin supported NDAA would establish a commission to study the war in Afghanistan to evaluate “all matters relating to combat operations, reconstruction and security force assistance activities, intelligence operations, and diplomatic activities” pertaining to Afghanistan between September 1, 1996 and August 30, 2021.
- At the request of Senator Baldwin, the Senate Committee Report includes language to help protect funding for critical construction projects at General Mitchell Field in Milwaukee which would ensure that the Wisconsin National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing can continue to modernize to support national security missions.
Advocating for Improved Military Justice
- As a cosponsor of the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act (MJIIPA), Senator Baldwin successfully fought to include provisions to professionalize how the military prosecutes sexual harassment and sexual assault. The NDAA creates special trial counsel with the authority to make binding prosecutorial disposition decisions for a narrow range of covered offenses, including sexual assault, as well as establishes sexual harassment as a separate chargeable offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Supporting America’s Allies
- The Baldwin-supported legislation authorizes an additional $50 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, for a total of $300 million, to help deter Russia and support a sovereign and independent Ukraine’s right of self-defense.
- At the request of Senator Baldwin, the NDAA encourages the U.S. Department of Defense, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, NATO, and other coalition members, to assess and advocate for demining efforts of firing ranges in Afghanistan. This language would also encourage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to partner with humanitarian demining organizations to undertake demining efforts and support security for Afghan nationals.
An online version of this release is available here.