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Senate passes National Defense Authorization Act for 2022, secures W.Va. priorities

Clarksburg-Weston WDTV logo Clarksburg-Weston WDTV 12/15/2021 WDTV News Staff
The U.S. Capitol building can be seen in this photo. © Provided by Clarksburg-Weston WDTV The U.S. Capitol building can be seen in this photo.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22 NDAA) with a final vote of 89-10.

The Act secures $9.346 billion for West Virginia priorities.

The FY22 NDAA authorizes $768 billion, including $740.3 billion for the Department of Defense (DoD) and $27.7 billion for Department of Energy (DOE) national security programs.

“It is absolutely essential that we support our military, and the NDAA does just that,” Senator Capito said. “It also ensures our military is equipped with the proper tools needed to effectively do their jobs, funds our military and key national security priorities, supports service families, and so much more. For decades, we have been able to overcome our partisan differences and unify on supporting our defense and national security, and I was proud to continue this tradition today by passing this legislation.”

“Every year for six decades, the United States has passed the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act to ensure our military has the support and funding needed to defend our nation from threats at home and abroad,” said Senator Manchin. “The FY22 NDAA is critical to combatting enemies seen and unseen, and includes funding to support our brave servicemembers and other priorities for West Virginia … The Mountain State will benefit from numerous provisions in the bill, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts of these investments.”

The following are West Virginia priorities included in FY22 NDAA:

  • Domestic Sourcing of Medication – Requires the Secretary of Defense to analyze the threat foreign sourcing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) poses to the combat readiness of our Armed Forces, and determines the feasibility of establishing a pilot project to increase the domestic capacity of APIs and finished pharmaceutical products, including oral solid dose medicines. As competition increases with China the security of our supply chains will continue to be threatened, and domestic capacity ensures security in the future.
  • Acid Mine Drainage Rare Earth Element Pilot Program – Authorizes $3 million for a pilot program to determine the feasibility of Critical Mineral supplies from acid mine drainage in coordination with universities developing this technology. West Virginia University has been developing technology to achieve the goal of establishing a domestic supply of these critical minerals instead of relying on foreign sources of rare earth elements.
  • National Guard Educational Programs – Both the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program and STARBASE STEM education program received a combined authorization of $276 million to continue their missions.
  • Joint DoD University Research Programs – Authorizes a combined $42 million for both the Minerva Research Initiative and the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (DEPSCoR) promote increased research at institutes of higher education through grants and research funding across a number of priorities. West Virginia University is an annual competitor for these programs.
  • West Virginia Industrial Base Support – The FY22 NDAA supports robust funding authorization for a number of procurement and research and development programs that West Virginia businesses support including: submarine, amphibious ships, aircraft carriers, and missile construction and development.
    • Ransomware – Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment on DoD’s ability to defend the United States from ransomware attacks.
    • National Guard Coordination with CISA – Recognizes the role of Army Interagency Training and Education Center within the West Virginia National Guard in carrying out critical infrastructure protection and encourages expansion.
    • Place of Performance Relaxation – Builds off provisions placed in the FY20 and FY21 NDAAs by Senator Manchin to support relaxing place of performance standards on contracts, with the goal of enabling West Virginia companies to apply for more defense contracts.
    • Cybersecurity Education – Requires Cyber Command to create an educational exchange program between DoD and private industry to exchange cybersecurity expertise.

  • National Security Climate Resiliency – This bill requires DoD to conduct an assessment every five years of the impact of extreme weather events on the infrastructure of the Armed Forces. This also creates a program that forecasts potential costs and inefficiencies relating to extreme weather.
  • DoD Office of Small Business Programs – Authorizes language that clarifies the role of the Director of the Office of Small Business Programs at DoD, and requires a briefing by the Secretary of Defense by March 1, 2022 on how best the Department can realign this office to increase direct advocacy to small businesses.

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