WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, on Thursday applauded the final passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation authorizes the appropriations of funds for the Department of Defense and military construction that will help keep Connecticut families safe and support the state’s defense manufacturing jobs. Murphy worked across the aisle to ensure bipartisan support on several key amendments that were included in final passage, including a Murphy-authored amendment to ban the use of Chinese drones due to national security concerns.

“Today’s bill passage is a huge boost for Connecticut manufacturers, and a bipartisan win to advance U.S. national security. Importantly, this includes my prevision banning the use of Chinese drones and encourages our government to use taxpayer dollars to invest in American defense manufacturing instead,” said Murphy. “It’s important that we will be voting separately tomorrow on prohibiting the use of funds for a first-strike on Iran without congressional authorization. We need to make clear that the president can’t go to war with Iran without a vote in Congress.”

The National Defense Authorization Act includes funding authorizations for the following Connecticut priorities:

  • Authorizes 94 Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force F-35 ‘Joint Strike Fighters’ and advanced procurement. This includes $1.55 billion for 16 additional F-35s above the President’s requested level;
  • Authorizes 2 Virginia Class submarines, including an additional $522 million to re-insert the Virginia Payload Module on the 3rd Block-V Virginia-class submarine (SSN-804);
  • Authorizes advance procurement for 3 Virginia-class submarines;
  • Authorizes 15 Air Force KC-46 ‘Pegasus’ tankers, an increase $471 million for 3 additional aircraft over the President’s requested level;
  • Authorizes advance procurement for the first Columbia-class program, $125 million above the President’s requested level to expand the submarine industrial base;
  • Authorizes 66 Army UH-60M Black Hawks;
  • Authorizes 12 Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopters (HH-60W) ‘Pave Hawk’;
  • Authorizes 6 Marine Corps CH-53K ‘King Stallion’ and $215 million in advanced procurement;
  • Authorizes 6 Marine Corps VH-92 ‘Marine One’ helicopters;
  • Authorizes urgently need submarine maintenance requested by the U.S. Navy at both public and private shipyards for the USS Boise, USS Hartford and USS Columbus;
  • Authorizes Marine Corps CH-53K ‘King Stallion’ research and development;
  • Authorizes Columbia-class submarine research and development, including $15 million over the President’s request level to accelerate the development of an advanced propulsor design;
  • Authorizes construction of Pier 32 at Naval Submarine Base New London that will support the next generation of Virginia Payload Module Block-V submarines;
  • Authorizes an upgrade of the of the Air Force C-130H fleet. These are the same aircraft used by 103rd Airlift wing of Connecticut’s Air National Guard that is currently preparing to deploy this summer to Southwest Asia;
  • Authorizes undersea warfare applied research between University of Connecticut, University of Rhode Island and Electric Boat.
  • Authorizes 3.1% raise for U.S. military personnel.

The National Defense Authorization Act includes funding authorizations for the following U.S. national security priorities:

  • Expansion of authority to provide stabilization activities in Syria by the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID);
  • $945 million in authorization and extension of the Counter ISIS Train and Equipment Fund (CREF) authority;
  • Extension of the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to 2022 and authorization for $300 million in assistance. Including $100 million in lethal assistance and additional authorized categories of air defense, costal defense radars, air defense and costal defense missile systems. An additional $50 million authorization for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative through DSCA above the President’s requested level;
  • A sense of the Senate that U.S. should promote an enduring security relationship with the Republic of Georgia to improve their interoperability with NATO, bolster deterrence against Russia, enhance security in the Black Sea, and support for their membership in NATO; and
  • A detailed report to Congress on all in-flight refueling assistance, costs, reimbursements and unpaid balances incurred by the U.S. to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and coalition partners for use in the Civil War in Yemen between 2015-2018.  The Secretary of Defense is required to certify to Congress when all unpaid balances have been fully reimbursed.