2022 defense spending authorization likely to benefit Utah

The U.S. Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington, is seen through a maze of twigs and tree branches Saturday, March 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sept. 2, the House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year.

That proposed spending package includes many provisions benefitting Utah, thanks to the efforts of freshman Rep. Blake Moore (R- 1st District).

“Since my first day in office,” Moore explains, ”we have been working with Hill Air Force Base, military families and the Utah defense community to ensure that Utah’s priorities are represented in the NDAA.

“Even while in the minority (on the House Armed Services Committee), Republicans succeeded in reversing President Biden’s harmful defense spending cuts; maintaining a competitive edge over China; enhancing depot facility modernization efforts; demanding accountability for Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal; and funding additional procurement to ensure military readiness.”

By a solidly bipartisan vote, the House panel’s version of the NDAA added $23.9 billion to the $715 billion Pentagon budget requested by the Biden White House for a total of nearly $739 billion.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee agreed that the administration’s request failed to even keep pace with inflation, much less counter growing international threats, particularly in the realm of cyber security.

Moore’s contributions to the final draft of the NDAA were praised by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the ranking GOP member of the House panel.

Chief among Moore’s contributions to the authorization bill were provisions fully funding the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program.

The GBSD is a replacement nuclear weapons system for the Minuteman III missiles that are now based in silos throughout the western United States. The new missiles are being built by Northrop Grumman, an aerospace giant that recently acquired Utah’s own Orbital ATK Corp. The GBSD project is expected to take more than a decade at a cost of up to $85 billion.

By rejecting what would have been harmful delays in nuclear modernization, Moore says his efforts will help to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

The GBSD program is expected to bring as many as 4,000 new jobs to Hill Air Force Base in Utah’s 1st Congressional District and the construction of six additional buildings there.

Moore’s other contributions to the NDAA include requiring an analysis of intelligence shortcomings that led to the recent Afghanistan withdrawal debacle; streamlining Department of Defense (DoD) procedures for the hiring of veterans and retired service members; expansion of employment opportunities for military families impacted by change of station moves; requirements that printed circuits used in DoD equipment be manufactured in the United States; enhanced pay for employees at Dugway Proving Grounds; and facilitation of community assistance to military installations that increases quality of life and workforce morale.

“I look forward to working in my colleagues,” Moore said after the authorization vote, “to get the NDAA to the House floor so we can provide service members with policies that are worthy of their immense sacrifices.”

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