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PASSED - Houlahan Leads PA Delegation in National Defense Authorization Act

The overwhelmingly bipartisan bill passed the House 316-133 and included Houlahan’s amendment to modernize the military selective service system by extending it to women

WASHINGTON – Today, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), a veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, celebrated the dozens of legislative priorities she successfully incorporated into the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the House last night.

“As a former Air Force officer and the only Pennsylvanian on the Armed Services Committee, this annual defense bill is a top priority for my office,” said Houlahan. “Our nation faces serious, evolving threats around the world, and we owe it to our servicemembers and their families to give them the support they need as they proudly defend our national security. I’ve spoken with countless veterans and servicemembers about their needs and promised to bring forward legislation on their behalf – this bill delivers on that promise.”

The annual defense bill passed the House by a 316-133 vote. Notably, Houlahan successfully advanced her historic, bipartisan effort to modernize the military selective service by extending it women.

 “Last night, we made history,” said Houlahan. “The military selective service system hasn’t been used to draft Americans in decades – I hope it stays that way. But should our nation face a catastrophe so large we need to activate our selective service system, we must be ready to have all hands on deck. That includes women.”

 “This bipartisan effort also addresses the reality of our military posture today. There are jobs in cybersecurity, STEM, technical support and more that weren’t as prevalent when the draft was first established. It’s beyond time to modernize this part of our military readiness.”

In addition to the amendments Houlahan passed in committee markup, she secured additional priorities since the NDAA passed out of committee. Her work:

  • Creates a cybersecurity training pilot program at the VA for veterans and creates a registered apprenticeship program at the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency focused on cyber and infrastructure security through The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Act, a bipartisan bill
  • Exempts certain contracts awarded to small business concerns from category management or successor strategies for contract consolidation
  • Codifies three recommendations from the bipartisan National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence:
    • Requires the DoD to develop a plan to collect/analyze data on the use of enhanced transfer of technology developed at DoD laboratories
    • Requires the DoD to provide Congress a report on the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence recommendations and whether the DoD intends to implement them
    • Requires an annual report from the Federal Chief Human Capital Officers Council that recommends ways to break down the barriers preventing agencies from hiring digital / cybersecurity

Houlahan was also proud to advance other provisions in the NDAA that support our brave servicemembers, veterans, their families, and all who care for them. This bill:

  • Closes the pay gap by funding a 2.7% pay increase for our service members and establishes a $15 minimum wage for covered service and construction contracts
  • Includes passage of Houlahan’s Military Moms Matter Act, which improves access to pre- and post-natal care for women in the military
  • Combines various PFAS-related provisions including the following: requires the EPA to set federal drinking water regulations for PFAS, removes a loophole in the FY20 NDAA's PFAS disposal requirements, and clarifies various PFAS requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Makes historic changes to combat sexual assault in the military
  • Establishes an Office of Countering Extremism at DOD
  • Gives the DC mayor control of the DC National Guard for the first time in history

“I am once again incredibly proud of the work of the House Armed Services Committee, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “The NDAA represents the legislative process at its best. This year, like every year, we worked for months to identify policies where we agree, and where we don’t, and engaged in thorough, thoughtful debate on all of them. In an era where our politics is so dominated by divisiveness, it has never mattered more to show the American people that democracy still works.”

Chairman Smith’s full statement can be viewed here

Representative Houlahan has served on the House Armed Services Committee since coming to Congress in 2019. She is Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Cyber, Information Technologies, and Information Systems and the founder of the bipartisan Servicewomen and Women Veterans Caucus.

Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee. She is the recipient of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Abraham Lincoln Leadership for America Award which “recognizes members who demonstrate the bipartisan leadership and constructive governing necessary to move our country forward.”