WASHINGTON, D.C.(Press Release) – On Thursday the U.S. House voted 350-80 in support of the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). Among the Yea votes was U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson. Johnson talks about how this will bolsters B-21 priorities and repeals the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for military servicemembers.
“Republicans fought for our nation’s military, and ultimately, we secured the repeal of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate and a pay increase for servicemembers,” said Johnson. “The annual defense bill also includes oversight of funding to combat Russia’s attack on Ukraine and funding for the B-21. For sixty-two years, Congress has passed the annual defense bill, this year will be no different.”
In July, Johnson urged U.S. Department of Defense Secretary Austin to reconsider the Department’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and issue uniform guidance that considers natural immunity. Johnson is also a cosponsor of H.R. 3860, which prohibits forced COVID-19 vaccination or adverse action for refusal for members of the Armed Forces.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 (H.R. 7776):
- Ends the Department of Defense COVID-19 vaccine mandate for active duty, reserve, and national guard personnel, ensuring troops will not be discharged for refusing the vaccine;
- Authorizes a 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers;
- Requires the DOD, State, and USAID Inspectors General to regularly carry out comprehensive reviews and audits of Ukraine assistance;
- Authorizes general Air Force construction and land acquisition funds for Ellsworth ($335,900,000);
- Continues maintenance project funding for Joe Foss Field; and
- Authorizes military construction funds for various B-21 facilities on Ellsworth Air Force Base.
The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate which is expected to take up this matter early next week.