WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House passed the Conference Report for the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 by a vote of 335 to 78.
“Today the House sent a strong, bipartisan message to the American people: Our service members and our national security are more important than politics. By passing the FY21 NDAA conference report with a sweeping, veto-proof majority, the House has proven we are capable of legislating and reaching compromise that results in good policy outcomes.
“The FY21 NDAA, which contains a total of 1257 provisions and reads almost 4,000 pages long, provides our men and women in uniform the resources they need to maintain our competitive edge and military superiority.
“This year’s annual defense bill also reflects our American values and delivers additional wins For the People. Provisions in the bill will remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia across the military that honor or commemorate the Confederacy and will create a Chief Diversity Officer within the Department of Defense to ensure our military reflects our country’s diversity.  
“The FY21 NDAA provides a long-sought after benefit for tens of thousands of Vietnam-era veterans who are struggling with certain health complications after being exposed to Agent Orange while serving their country. This year’s bill also extends paid parental leave to approximately 100,000 federal civilians inadvertently excluded from last year’s legislation, including employees at the VA, TSA, FAA, White House, Article I judges, and the courts and the public defender’s office for Washington, D.C.
“After months of hard work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress, I am proud of our finished product. Given the strength of the bill, I am confident the conference report will receive similarly robust support in the Senate this week before heading to the President’s desk for signature. It is my hope that the President signs the FY21 NDAA into law given how important passage is for our service members and their families, however I remain confident that Congress will exercise our authority to override a potential veto should he choose to put his ego first.”