Sen. Kaine secures ban on the use of the military against peaceful protesters in defense bill

National
Mike Lee, Tim Kaine

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., joined at left by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, meets with reporters just after the Senate advanced a resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — The Senate Armed Services Committee has passed the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes several provisions including banning the use of the military against peaceful protesters.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine released a statement on Thursday after the committee passed the NDAA.

The NDAA includes many benefits to Virginia’s defense community, shipbuilding industry, and military families.

In addition, the committee adopted Kaine’s amendment to prevent the use of military force against American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights.

“I’m proud that we reached an agreement on comprehensive legislation to help defend the nation and support our defenders. My other priority was something I would never have thought I needed to do until last week: prevent the use of military force against peaceful protesters,” said Senator Tim Kaine in a press release.

Listed below are the priorities Kaine advocated for that were included in the final bill:

Prohibition On Use Of Military Force Against Peaceful Protesters: Includes amendment to prevent the use of military funds or personnel against American citizens exercising their first amendment rights.

Support For Military Families: Includes legislation introduced to make child care more affordable and accessible for military families.

Shipbuilding and Repair: Authorizes over $21 billion for shipbuilding, $1.4 billion above the President’s Budget.

DOD Panel on Confederate Names: Includes an amendment to initiate a 3-year process to rename DOD facilities currently named after Confederates.

HBCU Support: Includes $5 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities to support national security technology missions by providing DOD with high-quality research and STEM training.

Military Housing Improvements: Includes $2 million to hire civil servants in the DOD offices which oversee issues like the Military Housing Privatization Initiative to implement military housing reforms.

Military Construction Funding: Authorizes $240 million for 7 military construction projects throughout the Commonwealth, including:

  • $58 million for a Naval Special Warfare Group facility at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story
  • $54.5 million for a Naval Special Warfare operations and command center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story
  • $30.4 million for a E-2D training facility at Naval Station Norfolk
  • $17.7 million for a MH60 & CMV-22B corrosion control and paint facility at Naval Station Norfolk
  • $19.5 million for an access control point gate and land acquisition at Joint Base Langley-Eustis
  • $51 million for a training support facility at the Humphreys Engineer Center
  • $9.4 million for a submarine logistics support facility at Naval Station Norfolk

The resiliency of Military Installations: Expands the FY20 NDAA authority to carry out military installation resilience projects outside the fence of military installations.

Shipyard Infrastructure Briefing: Requires the Department of the Navy to provide six-month updates on the shipyard infrastructure optimization plan to ensure the plan is supported and financed by the Department.


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