Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021. The legislation authorizes funding for our nation's military personnel, readiness and operations and includes provisions related to Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City and Fort Sill in Lawton, which are both located in the Fourth District of Oklahoma. With Cole's support, H.R. 6395 passed the House today by a vote of 295-125.
"Supporting our troops and providing for our common defense should always be a bipartisan effort, and I am very proud that House members on both sides of the aisle demonstrated that shared commitment in crafting and passing this year's National Defense Authorization Act," said Cole. "This vital legislation rightly authorizes funding for programs and resources to keep our nation safe while also supporting the devoted and brave individuals who make every mission possible, including with a well-deserved 3 percent pay raise.
"I am particularly pleased that the legislation authorizes robust funding to support the ongoing missions and military training efforts based in Oklahoma. Specifically, in the Fourth District, this includes vital support of the Long Range Precision Fires and Air and Missile Defense initiatives at Fort Sill as well as aircraft maintenance and sustainment operations at Tinker Air Force Base.
"Additionally, by investing in critical emerging technology, the legislation affirms the need to strengthen our force and protect our country against increasingly aggressive adversaries like Russia and China. It also includes critical language to address the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring equipment and resources are available to protect our troops during this crisis."
The final version of the legislation passed in the House today also included an amendment containing the text of the TRICARE ECHO Improvement Act, which was authored and introduced by Cole earlier this year.