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Annual Defense Bill Headed to President’s Desk, Includes a Number of South Dakota Priorities

WASHINGTON— Today, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, which includes a number of South Dakota priorities. U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Chairman of the SASC Cybersecurity Subcommittee, authored and championed a number of these provisions. 


“Senator Rounds has been a champion for the National Defense Authorization Act and all that it stands for — a strong national defense and robust support for our troops,” said SASC Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). “His efforts were critical to make this the strongest NDAA possible. I’m especially proud of the work Senator Rounds did as chairman of the Cybersecurity Subcommittee, where he prioritized forward-looking policies to strengthen our cyber defenses and took a leadership role in establishment of the National Cyber Director. From making sure we maintain the right fleet of aircraft to support the National Defense Strategy to strengthening our national technology and industry base, the energy and intellectual horsepower Senator Rounds brings to national security is the leadership we need to ensure a bright future for our nation and our grandkids.”


The fiscal 2021 NDAA:

  • Provides a three percent pay raise for our troops;
  • Supports military family readiness by advocating for the employment of military spouses and making sure the Department of Defense provides high-quality and accessible child care for military families;
  • Includes a Rounds provision to address the Air Force’s bomber shortfall, which directly supports B-21 bomber program and Ellsworth Air Force Base;
  • Includes a Rounds provision to expand the Cyber Institutes program to include institutions that have a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, such as South Dakota State University in Brookings;
  • Includes many Rounds-led provisions to strengthen our cybersecurity efforts;
  • Fosters innovative technological development that restores, maintains or expands our comparative advantage over China and Russia for key capabilities and technologies, including hypersonic weapons, cybersecurity, biotechnologies and beyond;
  • Invests in the equipment and weapons platforms that will secure our military supremacy across all domains;
  • Improves how the Pentagon manages its budget and makes the process more transparent and accountable to Congress and the American people;
  • Restores American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing so the U.S. doesn’t have to rely on our adversaries such as China for important products necessary to our national security; and
  • Protects our troops and supports military readiness by assuring our troops have adequate diagnostic equipment, testing capabilities and PPE, and by supporting the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Includes a Rounds-led anti-money laundering provision to prevent the abuse of shell companies and help law enforcement combat illicit financial activity being carried out by terrorists, drug and human traffickers, and other criminals.