(U.S. Senate Press Release, December 15, 2022)
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo (both R-Idaho) voted in support of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), fulfilling Congress’ constitutional duty to “provide for the common defense.”
The FY 2023 NDAA provides U.S. troops with a needed pay raise and increases authorized defense funding. Republican lawmakers successfully prevented progressive lawmakers from using the military funding bill to advance far-left priorities, such as DC statehood, and created a briefing requirement for all military support deployed to the southern border.
“The FY 2023 NDAA ensures our military is equipped with the necessary resources to defend our country,” said Risch. “This legislation includes wins for Idaho like ensuring Idaho’s Air National Guard can continue its A-10 mission, repealing the vaccine mandate for active military, and preventing a Democrat-led effort to include women in the draft. While more remains to be done to protect service members who were discharged from their military service because of their refusal to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, this bill will ultimately help strengthen our military and America’s defenses.”
“The provisions included in the FY2023 NDAA are critical for boosting America’s national security at home and abroad,” said Crapo. “This year’s NDAA supports Idaho’s military personnel and industries by advocating for the Idaho Air National Guard, funding military technologies developed in Idaho and protecting our servicemembers from draconian COVID vaccine mandates. Supporting our Armed Forces also means providing for them as they exit active military service. By permanently authorizing the DOD SkillBridge program, servicemembers in their initial stages of separation gain experience in a field of their interest and support the transition of these selfless men and women back to civilian life.”
Senators Risch and Crapo secured a number of provisions important to the state of Idaho in final passage of the NDAA, including:
- Ensuring the Idaho Air National Guard maintains its flying mission while allowing the Air Force to divest a certain number of A-10s;
- Aiding the development of digital night vision technology, in which Idaho industry plays a key role;
- Repealing the DOD vaccine mandate on active military personnel; and
- Funding for the Range Craft Berthing Facility at the Navy’s Acoustic Research Detachment in Bayview and $379 million for the Idaho National Laboratory.
Several of Senator Risch’s priorities were incorporated into the NDAA as a result of his efforts. Those priorities included:
- Precluding the requirement for women to register for the Selective Service;
- Reauthorizing the Feed the Future Initiative, a public-private partnership with the University of Idaho;
- Ending international wildlife poaching and trafficking; and
- Facilitating better international cooperation against synthetic drug trafficking through the FENTANYL Results Act.
Senator Crapo’s priorities in the NDAA include:
- Requiring financial regulators to develop common data standards that improve transparency and accountability of financial data collected from regulated institutions through inclusion of the Financial Data Transparency Act; and
- Permanently authorizing the DOD SkillBridge program, which offers servicemembers in their initial stages of separation from the military to gain experience in a field of their interest. Senator Crapo has long advocated for an expansion of Transition Assistance Program (TAP) counseling to include servicemembers participating in the SkillBridge program.