WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep Blake Moore scored a significant victory for Utah’s 1st Congressional District and Hill Air Force Base on Thursday.
In joining with a bipartisan coalition of his colleagues on Capitol Hill, Moore helped to strip amendments that could have undermined U.S. national security while passing the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
After numerous votes on individual amendments to the NDAA, that $768 billion measure passed on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by a margin of 316 to 113.
“This legislation serves as a sharp rebuke of the Biden administration’s significant defense cuts,” Moore said after the final vote. “(The NDAA) restores defense funding to adjust for inflation, maintains our competitive edge against great power rivals and modernizes our military depots.
“As expected,” he added, “the majority (members in the House) included several amendments at this stage in the process that I voted against …”
One of the amendments that Moore helped to defeat was introduced by Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee with Moore. That proposal would have blocked funding for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).
The GBSD is a program to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile to replace the aging Minuteman III missiles currently in the Pentagon’s nuclear inventory.
Garamendi’s amendment would have defunded that program, along with the development of new nuclear warheads for the GBSD.
The new missiles are being built by Northrop Grumman, an aerospace giant that recently acquired Utah’s own Orbital ATK Corp. The GBSD project is expected to take more than a decade at a cost of up to $85 billion.
The GBSD program is also expected to bring as many as 4,000 new jobs to Hill Air Force Base in Utah’s 1st Congressional District and the construction of six additional buildings there.
Garamendi’s amendment was defeated by a vote of 299 to 118.
“As Utah’s sole representative on the House Armed Services Committee,” Moore explained, “I will continue advocating for Hill Air Force Base and also fight to ensure that the interests of Utah’s defense community remain in the final version of the NDAA.”
The NDAA, which outlines Pentagon spending authorizations for the upcoming fiscal year, traditionally enjoys strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
That support was necessary this year to over-rule amendments from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that would have drastically scaled back the Pentagon’s budget.
Those included a proposal from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) that would have limited the defense budget to the amount requested by the Biden White House. That amendment would have stripped more than $25 billion from the NDAA’s bottom line. Moore joined 285 colleagues in defeating that amendment.
An even larger number of representatives, include many Democrats, voted to reject an amendment by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) that would have cut the Pentagon’s budget by 10 percent across the board. That amendment was defeated by a 332-86 margin.
The Senate must still pass its own version of the NDAA and then a conference committee will have to reconcile the two spending packages.
“I will work with the Senate and conference committee to further refine this bill,” Moore pledged. “We must keep the National Defense Authorization Act on its primary intent – to support military members, their families and the warfighter