Here’s what NJ gets from the Defense Policy Bill just passed by the US House

Funding for the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Picatinny Arsenal Joint Base – and several companies with facilities in New Jersey working on Pentagon contracts – has been included in annual legislation setting defense policy for the next 12 months. passed by the United States House on Thursday.

The National Defense Authorization Act gives the green light to spend $ 768 billion in the federal fiscal year that begins October 1. Representatives Frank Pallone Jr., D-6th Dist., And Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., Were the only New Jersey representatives to vote no.

The measure, which now goes to the Senate, is one that Congress invariably passes each year in order to shape federal defense policy and ensure that local facilities such as the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base get their share of the spending of the government. Pentagon.

“Investing in modernizing our military, maximizing the combat effectiveness of existing systems and reducing risk in our defense industrial base ensures that we remain prepared at home and competitive abroad,” said Representative Donald Norcross, D-1st Dist., Chairman of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee.

“To preserve our nation’s ability to defend vital national interests wherever they arise, we must take care of the people who make it possible here. “

Representative Mikie Sherrill, D-11th Dist., Another member of the Armed Services Committee, got approval for a provision limiting how future presidents can use the National Guard.

The action was a response to then-President Donald Trump calling in National Guard troops during Black Lives Matters protests in Washington, DC after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of the police. Trump’s use of troops was at odds with the long-held interpretation of federal law governing how the National Guard may be used.

Under the Sherrill Amendment, the President must either federalize a state’s National Guard or obtain permission from the state the troops would come from and the state (or DC) where the troops would be sent. .

Governor Phil Murphy came under fire from members of the state’s Congressional delegation when he sent members of the New Jersey Guard to Washington during the protests, although they were stationed to protect federal monuments and not to confront the demonstrators.

The measure also includes the Secure and Fair Enforcement, or SAFE, Banking Act, which would allow federally regulated banks to provide checking accounts, credit cards and other financial services to legal marijuana businesses.

“Enactment of the SAFE Banking Act would improve public safety and business efficiency in the 36 states that currently allow some form of retail marijuana,” said Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, the National Organization. for marijuana law reform.

And there is a provision drafted by Representative Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist., To demand a study on how restoring the full federal deduction for state and local taxes will help military personnel living in heavily taxed states.

Here’s what New Jersey can expect from the legislation:

– For the common base, 170 million dollars for additional KC-46A refuellers. The first KC-46As are due to be delivered to the base later this year. There is also funding for the CACI C5ISR project, which allows troops to locate positions without a Global Positioning System, better known as GPS. The project is tested at the common basis.

– For Picatinny, a share of $ 167 million in funding for projects, including army ammunition and the development of new weapons and ammunition, which involve installation.

“Picatinny Arsenal is a hub for military innovation,” Sherrill said. “At all levels, from weaponry to AI [artificial intelligence], Picatinny is at the cutting edge of technology. This year’s NDAA invests heavily in military modernization priorities and allows Picatinny to continue its vital work to strengthen our national defense.

– $ 41 million for the Medium Unmanned Surface Ship produced by L3 Harris in Camden.

– $ 100 million for EASA radar for the Air National Guard’s F-16 fleet, including the 177th Fighter Wing based at Atlantic City Airport in Egg Harbor Township.

– $ 25.9 million for modifications to the existing AN / SPY-1 radar for the Virginia class submarines. The radar system is being tested at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Moorestown.

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Jonathan D. Salant can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JDSalant.

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