Senate passes critical Defense Bill with Kentucky priorities

 Submitted article

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) led the U.S. Senate to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. The Senate vote marks the 60th consecutive year Congress has passed the defense policy bill. Senator McConnell secured critical provisions in the legislation for Kentucky’s servicemembers, military installations, and defense programs.

“The Senate has continued rebuilding and modernizing the world’s greatest fighting force to protect Americans, our interests, and our allies. I was proud to vote in support of our men and women in uniform and their families,” said Senator McConnell. “This legislation is a victory for Kentucky’s role in our national security. From the reactivation of the historic V Corps at Fort Knox to the stationing of a new C-130J aircraft squadron for the Kentucky Air National Guard, Kentucky’s military installations continue to be recognized for their elite contributions to our Armed Forces. This year also brought landmark progress in chemical weapon destruction at the Blue Grass Army Depot as well as a deployment of Fort Campbell soldiers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a high honor to provide for our military heroes as they sacrifice to keep our country safe.”

In addition to a well-deserved pay raise for our servicemembers, Senator McConnell secured authorizations for these Kentucky priorities:

$69.3 million for construction of the Van Voorhis Elementary School at Fort Knox;

$20 million for the NSA Workforce Transformation Cyber Initiative Pilot Program, which supports the University of Louisville’s recently-announced healthcare cybersecurity certificate programs; and

$15 million for an Army National Guard/ Reserve Center building in Frankfort.

The NDAA also includes the following provisions to support military families:

 Resources and authorities to support the U.S. Armed Forces’ COVID-19 response and protect the health of our servicemembers;

 $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program, which provides competitive grants for quality of life projects for servicemembers and families;

 Support for military spouse employment programs and funding for re-licensing costs incurred when changing duty stations; and

 Improved oversight over privatized military housing system to ensure high-quality, healthy, and safe housing.


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