Michigan lawmakers react to President Biden signing national defense bill

National News

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON D.C., (WLNS)— President Biden signed into law the annual national defense bill that includes several provisions from U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin.

Peters says the bill includes nearly $144 million in investments that secured for military facilities across Michigan.

The bill is set to strengthen national security and push Michigan’s growing defense sector and support veterans and service members, Peters says.

The passing of the legislation comes after Peters hosted Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks at Selfridge Air National Guard Base earlier this month to highlight defense innovation.

The legislation has secured $23 million in funding for a Michigan-based 5th generation aircraft hangar and accompanying maintenance facilities at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Peters says.

The legislation also includes $28 million in funding for a new A-10 hangar and maintenance facility at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan.

The bill secured $12 million authorization to help construct new maintenance facilities at the Army Reserve unit in Southfield, Michigan; $59 million to enhance Battle Creek facilities, $5.7 million for the construction of power generation system at Camp Grayling, and $16 million for constructing a National Guard Readiness Center at Camp Grayling.

“The national defense bill is critical to maintaining our competitiveness on the global stage – particularly as other nations, like the Chinese government, look to expand their influence,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I’m pleased this bipartisan bill was signed into law – which not only helps solidify the Department of Defense’s commitment to Michigan – but provides a pay raise for service members, helps address PFAS contamination, and supports innovative military research and development that’s happening in Michigan.”

Supporting Michigan’s Defense Sector and Advanced Technology:

  • Prohibits the Retirement of the A-10 Warthog
  • Funding for Manufacturing Research: The bill secures $5 million in funding research additive manufacturing, as well as $7M in funding for research into composite production practices.
  • Electric Light Vehicle Reconnaissance Program: The bill includes a provision authorizing research and engineering of electric and alternative fuel vehicle development for the electric vehicle program.
  • Funding for Vehicular Cybersecurity: Peters secured $3.5 million in funding to help create a Cyber and Vehicle Integration Center (CAVIC) at Selfridge ANGB.

 Supporting Troops and Their Families:

  • Pay Raise for Troops: This bill includes a 2.7% pay increase for all servicemembers
  • Improve Access to Medications for Servicembers, Veterans and Their Families
  • Supporting Military Families Struggling with Food Insecurity
  • Promoting STEM Education through STARBASE
  • Authorize Memorial to Honor Veterans of Global War on Terrorism

How the bill plans to Strengthen National Security:

  • Cybersecurity Grants for Research and Development: This bill includes an increase of $6 million in funding for cybersecurity research and development for naval vessels.
  • Strengthening Cybersecurity Policy
  • Securing Critical Infrastructure Against Cyber-Attacks: Cyber-attacks against everything from oil pipelines to wastewater treatment plants have disrupted lives and livelihoods across the nation.
  • Directing DHS to Research Supply Chain Vulnerabilities: Recent shortages of critical supplies have highlighted significant gaps in our nation’s supply chains.
  • Strengthening Ties with Allies in the Asia-Pacific Region
  • Reinforcing our Support our Baltic Partners
  • Combating Human Trafficking

“Federal and local law enforcement must have the training and resources to stop human trafficking – especially as these horrific crimes continue to go underreported in Michigan and across the nation,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to help enact these reforms that will help address the threat of human trafficking. They will also provide law enforcement across the nation with additional means to disrupt and dismantle human trafficking organizations.”

The bill also plans on creating a PFAS Task Force with $476 million in environmental restoration funding for the Air Force to help with PFAS clean-up nationwide. Also, disclosing results of testing PFAS in groundwater nationally.

Provisions submitted by U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) addressing PFAS contamination, supply chain issues, and toxic burn pit exposure were signed into law as part of the 2022 budget for the Department of Defense.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will fund the Pentagon and the U.S. military for 2022. 

Slotkin’s provisions adopted as part of the NDAA include:

  • PFAS testing disclosure
  • Critical supply chain risk assessment
  • Cybersecurity infrastructure
  • Burn pit exposure

“Our national defense should always be a bipartisan priority, and as a former Pentagon official, I firmly believe Congress has a solemn responsibility to pass a budget that values our men and women in uniform and ensures we can maintain our edge over competitors like China and Russia,” said Slotkin. “I’m particularly pleased that my amendments to address supply chain vulnerabilities, PFAS contamination, and burn pit exposure among our veterans, have all been included. These three issues are examples of just how deeply Michigan is connected to our overall national security, and addressing them is critically important to our access to clean drinking water, our veterans’ safety, and our domestic manufacturing.” 

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