On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 10:25 AM Senator Jacky Rosen Outgoing@rosen.senate.gov wrote:
Thank you for contacting me about the Fiscal Year 2021 defense budget and authorization. I welcome your thoughts on this important topic.
As you may know, the United States defense budget supports the nation's national security infrastructure and the readiness of our Armed Forces. In Nevada, our defense and energy security installations play a critical role in keeping our nation safe. I am glad to see that so far this year's defense budget and authorization bills both recognize the Silver State's strategic importance to our national security. Nevada is the home of the fighter pilot for both the Air Force and Navy, the largest remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) mission for the Air Force, the world's largest ammunition depot, and the only place in the country where subcritical experiments are conducted to verify the viability of our nuclear stockpile.
As your Senator, I have worked to ensure that defense bills address Nevada's top priorities and exclude provisions harmful to our state and its defense equities. For example, I worked with my colleagues to make sure that the Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 did not authorize any funding for defense nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain. For over thirty years, the State of Nevada, as well as local and tribal communities, have rejected this misguided project, not only because the transportation of nuclear waste would be dangerous, but also because it could jeopardize military testing and training in Nevada. The site's proximity to the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) – the crown jewel of the Air Force, the largest air and ground military training space in the contiguous United States without interference from commercial aircraft, and home to 75 percent of stateside Air Force live munitions – threatens national security, and my colleagues and I made sure that the rest of Congress recognized this as well. Additionally, this bill authorizes funding I requested to provide new generators for Creech Air Force Base, $29 million for military construction projects for Naval Air Station Fallon, and $16 million for new military construction projects for the Nevada National Security Site. It also extends the land withdrawals for the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) and NTTR for twenty years, while maintaining the status quo for the FRTC, the NTTR, and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.
On July 23, 2020, I proudly voted to pass the Senate FY2021 NDAA. This bipartisan defense authorization bill authorizes a total of $740.5 billion in FY2021 for defense programs, the Energy Department, and other agencies. In addition to robust funding for Nevada's defense equities, it provides a three-percent pay raise for our servicemembers, the largest increase in a decade. I also was proud to see two of my amendments included in the final Senate package. The first bipartisan amendment brings Nevada's hard-working parents -- including military families -- much-needed relief by increasing the availability of high-quality child care. That amendment also creates jobs and supports child care small businesses by expanding access to SBA support. I also successfully included in the Senate bill an amendment that authorizes assistance for cybersecurity workforce development, including direct, no-cost support for Nevada's teachers and students to help them prepare for our 21st-century economy. This amendment is based on the bipartisan PROTECT Act (S.4195), which I introduced in July 2020. You also may be pleased to know this year's NDAA has an amendment that includes the text of legislation I co-led, the HACKED Act (S.2775) and CYBER LEAP Act (S.3712). These bipartisan bills improve the cyber workforce and establish cyber challenges to encourage high-priority breakthroughs in cybersecurity. In addition, the NDAA includes a bipartisan amendment that I supported, requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on military aviators and aviation support personnel to determine the incidence of cancer diagnosis and mortality among such aviators and personnel.
I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for Nevada and the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.
It is an honor to represent you and all Nevadans in the United States Senate and I welcome your input as we work to find common ground in the 116th Congress. To stay informed of my work in the Senate, please visit my website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I trust that you have read that the U.S. spends approximately 12 times more for defense than the next 10 major military countries, ummm COMBINED, many of which are our ALLIES.
You and your fellow Senators authorize this just so that the military machine, not the military and intelligence services, get to continue record profits while many Americans STARVE. Your fellow Congressional members, including yourself, have become so disconnected from the day to day problems of REAL LIFE that you do not see the 5 million children going to be hungry EVERY Night. I will not diminish what I am saying by asking what you make annually and compare it to what congress was making just 25 years ago, then ask you to compare your raises to that of the working middle class.
In Closing, I might suggest that all of the Senators and Representatives take your next break and go out into the Country with NO EXPENSE accounts, No silver lined credit cards, and only $100 dollars a week in your wallet and see just how far you go, then consider the families who live on $100 a month. Take 10% of the defense bill and put it into INFRASTRUCTURE and you and your colleagues will stop starvation and put a dent in homelessness in America. After all, what are you REALLY in congress for if not to help your CONSTITUENTS?
Michael Mitchell, Sandy Valley
USMC Veteran from Vietnam era