WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), who will serve as Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee in the 115th Congress, voted today in favor of final passage for S. 2943, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). After the bill passed the Senate in a 92 to 7 vote, sending the legislation to the President, Sen. Warner released the following statement:
“The defense bill that I voted for today provides important support for our men and women in uniform. It includes a 2.1 percent pay raise for service members and fully funds the Navy’s shipbuilding programs, including the Ohio-class replacement program, the Ford-class carrier program, the Virginia-class submarine program, and refueling and overhaul for the Nimitz-class carriers. These programs are all essential to maintaining our nation’s security, and they support thousands of shipyard workers in Hampton Roads.
“As we face the growing threat of cyberattacks, the bill also includes provisions I championed to improve technological innovation and efficiency at the Department of Defense.
“I’m pleased that the NDAA includes authorization to elevate U.S. Cyber Command to its own unified command. We should give our military the tools they need to do battle in the 21st century, whether it takes place on the field or in cyberspace, and elevating CYBERCOM will improve mission outcomes and make us more agile in defending against 21st century threats.
“This bill also includes my legislation to reform DoD’s criteria for purchasing cybersecurity services and products to ensure that taxpayers are getting the best long-term deal for their investment by discouraging the misapplication of Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) as a source selection method for cyber procurement. The guidance contained in the NDAA provides DoD with the necessary tools and flexibility to ensure that the United States maintains our strategic edge in using, producing, and driving innovative and cutting-edge IT and engineering.
“Additionally, I’m pleased that the bill includes bipartisan legislation I sponsored with Senator Kaine to authorize the National Park Service to expand the Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia. The Petersburg National Battlefield bore witness to the longest sustained siege in our nation’s military history and draws visitors from all across the country, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy every year. Expanding the park will encourage tourism to the region while preserving this important piece of American history for future generations.
“As the co-chair of the Senate India Caucus, I also applaud the inclusion of forward-leaning provisions designed to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation with India, including expanded military-to-military engagement, increased defense trade, and greater cooperation on technological development. As the world’s largest democracy and one with which U.S. strategic interests increasingly align, India is an important partner in promoting economic growth and global security.”