Durbin Statement On Senate Passage Of NDAA

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement after voting for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes an authorization for $768 billion for national defense programs and authorizations for military construction projects in Illinois totaling $25.2 million:


“The Senate’s passage of the NDAA emphasizes that our government is committed to a strong national defense and protecting our men and women in uniform. As we rebuild our country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m pleased to see significant investments in Illinois and our seasoned service members.


“Today’s legislation includes many important provisions, including funding to clean up PFAS contamination on military bases and modernizing our military installations, as well as language to support the continued evacuation of vulnerable Afghans. I hope this legislation is signed quickly by President Biden to bring home significant military funding to Illinois.”


Durbin-led measures included in the FY22 NDAA are: 


  • Military Construction Projects in Illinois. The bill includes an authorization for a $10.2 million military construction project at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport for the Air National Guard in Springfield and an authorization for a $15 million modernization project for the Army National Guard in Bloomington, Illinois.


  • Military Aircraft. The bill prohibits a reduction in the Air Force’s C-130 total aircraft inventory below 292 aircraft, blocking any planned divestments and supporting Air National Guard units like the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria.  The legislation also provides $900 million for the purchase of 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft to mitigate the Navy’s strike-fighter shortfall and bolster tactical fighter aircraft capacity.


  • PFAS. The bill establishes a two-year deadline for completion of PFAS testing at Department of Defense and National Guard installations and requires a report on PFAS remediation at bases around the country, including the former Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. The legislation also boosts funding for the clean-up of military communities impacted by PFAS contamination, the Base Realignment and Closure Accounts for environmental remediation, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s PFAS study.


  • Provision in the explanatory statement supporting the designation of a facility at Rock Island Arsenal to be named after the late Charlie Smith.


  • Provision in support of the Baltic Security Initiative and a minimum, first-time $150 million authorization.


  • Secured along with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), provision establishing a Basic Needs Allowance to address military hunger to support service members below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.


  • Provision requiring a briefing on Administration efforts to support democracy in Burma in light of the February coup.


Durbin also helped secure the following measures in the FY22 NDAA:


  • Military Sexual Assault.  The bill removes military commanders from decisions to prosecute a series of crimes, including rape, sexual assault, murder, manslaughter, and kidnapping, broadening the move to address crimes in the military.


  • Ukraine.  The bill includes an increase to $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative.


  • Family Leave for Military Members.  The bill standardizes parental leave policies across the military at 12 weeks leave for all service members after birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, for both primary and secondary caregivers. The bill also includes a two-week bereavement leave for service members in connection with the death of a spouse or child.


  • Afghanistan.  The bill includes a provision creating a multi-year independent Afghanistan War Commission to examine the decades-long war in Afghanistan.