U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence Prioritizes, and Advocates for, Women and Families in FY21 National Defense Authorization Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), and the U.S. House of Representatives, passed H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac)Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, by a vote of 295-125. This legislation authorizes $732 billion in discretionary spending for national defense to maintain the strength of our defense enterprise as our country grapples with a once-in-a-generation health crisis and a heightened social crisis against the backdrop of sustained systemic discrimination.
This measure provides increased funding for PFAS cleanup on our military bases; invests in improving the oversight and management of housing for military personnel and their families; authorizes support for a 3.0 percent military pay raise; makes improvements to sexual assault prevention and response programs; and develops several key programs to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion programs in our Armed Forces.
The final defense bill also included several important provisions for women and families championed by Rep. Lawrence, including provisions:
- Requiring each Secretary of a military department to (1) share lessons learned and best practices on the progress of plans to integrate members of the Armed Forces who identify as belonging to a minority group into the military department under the jurisdiction of the Secretary and (2) strategically communicate such progress with other military departments and the public;
- Directing the Secretary of Defense to develop a policy that defines conscious and unconscious gender bias and provides guidance to eliminate conscious and unconscious gender bias; and
- Requiring each Secretary of a military department to develop and implement policies to ensure that the career of a member of the Armed Forces is not negatively affected as a result of such member becoming pregnant.
This year marks the 60th consecutive year the NDAA has passed the House.