WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today joined Republican senators in urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to take up the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate Armed Services Committee in July. The bill, which would authorize all funding for the Department of Defense, has languished for months as Senate Democrats have chosen to advance other legislative priorities, including low level nominations and a multi-trillion dollar tax and spending package.
“What we need now is for the Democratic leader of the United States Senate to let this bipartisan process work as it has now for over half a century. We call on Chuck Schumer today to give us floor time,” Wicker said. “Let the 100 members of the Senate act on one of the most significant pieces of legislation that we will consider this Congress.”
This year’s defense bill is on track for consideration at the latest point in the Congressional calendar in recent memory, with only three other versions of the annual package receiving floor time later than this year.
Wicker also highlighted the urgency of taking up the package given the increasingly grave military threat from China. Several senior Biden administration national security officials have said China is an utmost defense priority. The annual defense bill would authorize funding for warships, missile systems, and advanced technology that is instrumental to deterring China.
In his remarks, Wicker cited President Biden who said “we are at a great inflection point in our history” due to competition with China. The Mississippi senator also referenced remarks from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin who said China is a “pacing challenge” and the “most significant threat we face,” as well as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl who sounded the alarm on China’s rising military strength.
To watch a full recording of Wicker’s remarks, click here.