June 14, 2024

Manchin Secures West Virginia Priorities in National Defense Authorization Act

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (I-WV), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), secured West Virginia and national priorities in the SASC markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2025. The Committee voted 22-3 to advance the bipartisan bill and it now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

“As the superpower of the world, we need a strong national security and defense strategy that protects our nation from threats at home and abroad, and this bill gets us one step closer to delivering on that,” said Senator Manchin. “Effectively resourcing our national security programs is an essential priority for our state and nation, which is why I worked to provide a $25 billion increase to the Department of Defense’s authorized topline with bipartisan support. I also fought for the reestablishment of a modernized Chief Management Officer to focus on responsibly spending taxpayer dollars and implementing cost-saving solutions within the DoD. I am proud to have secured so many West Virginia priorities in this bill and I will continue to advocate for them as it works its way through the legislative process.”

The NDAA establishes the funding levels and creates new programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) annually. Passage of this bill marks the 64th year in a row Congress has advanced this critical piece of legislation. The FY25 NDAA authorizes $923.3 billion, including $878.4 billion for the DoD and $33.4 billion for Department of Energy (DOE) national security programs, which Senator Manchin oversees as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Senator Manchin secured the following West Virginia and national priorities in the FY25 NDAA:

  • Reestablishment of a Modernized Chief Management Officer (CMO): This CMO position will ensure Congressionally-mandated business modernization and cost savings initiatives are implemented across the DoD.
  • East Coast Joint All Domain Training Complex: Authorizes $30 million to create a modernized training venue in West Virginia to support East Coast units based on demand from the joint force and in support of the West Virginia National Guard.
  • Biosynthesis of Critical Chemicals: Authorizes $35 million to support production in West Virginia of critical chemicals vital to sustaining a robust industrial base through biosynthesis, which is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly alternative to hazardous solvents and reactions.
  • Securing Critical Minerals through Acid Mine Drainage: Requires a report on the feasibility and funding requirements of using acid mine drainage separation technology developed by West Virginia University as a domestic source of rare earth elements and other critical minerals and to produce remediated clean water. 
  • Advancing Microreactor Development for our Military: Authorizes the DoD and contractors of the DoD nuclear energy authorities to manufacture, produce or acquire and operate nuclear reactors, which supports efforts tied to Project Pele, a mobile microreactor design currently being constructed offering great promise and application in the Pacific to combat contested logistics.
  • Supporting Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL): Supports West Virginia-based ABL, a Navy-owned, contractor-operated facility, by ensuring that such government-owned industrial base facilities be considered for taxpayer funded investments before commercially-owned facilities. This language instructs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess DoD investments in solid rocket motor production, and the feasibility of expanding existing munitions production at ABL rather than creating an entirely new government owned facility that duplicates ABL’s capabilities.
  • Importance of Service: Requires automatic Selective Service registration for every U.S. citizen in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 26. 
  • Supporting our Kurdish Allies: Requires the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Commander of Central Command, to report to the Congressional Defense Committees quarterly on the status of military equipment transfers to Kurdish forces transiting through Baghdad, Iraq.   
  • Backing Domestic Manufacturing: Directs the Secretary of Defense to procure advanced batteries and cells supporting warfighting and support systems sourced, refined and produced by non-foreign entities of concern.
  • Aligning Cybersecurity Efforts: Requires cybersecurity contracts exceeding $15 million to align with the already established DoD Zero Trust strategy, supporting a common security baseline. 
  • Fiscal Responsibility in Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI): Requires any program containing AI systems to appropriately plan for AI costs very similar to how hardware and maintenance costs are currently planned for today. 
  • Combating Cyber Threats: Directs the Chief Information Officer of the DoD and the Defense Information Systems Agency to brief Congress on its alignment plan incorporating legacy systems into Zero Trust Network Architecture, a security principle limiting access of users to combat cyber threats and adversaries.