Rep. Axne, Bipartisan House Vote to Override Veto of Defense Policy Bill

December 28, 2020
Press Release
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 passed by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of Congress earlier this month

Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) joined a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to override the presidential veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21).

The bipartisan legislation, which includes a 3% pay raise for servicemembers and other provisions championed by Rep. Axne, passed with over 300 votes in the House and 84 votes in the Senate earlier this month.

“After months of bipartisan negotiation and cooperation, this defense policy bill represents the critical foundation on which all national security efforts will be built for the coming year. The men and women protecting our country need the support provided in this legislation – a necessity reflected in the overwhelming majorities that passed this legislation a few weeks ago,” said Rep. Axne. “President Trump’s veto of this bill abandons our troops, halts vital security programs, and deserts our nation’s veterans. Today, I’m joining my colleagues in exercising our constitutional right to overrule the President’s shortsighted thinking on this vital measure.”

The legislation includes the bipartisan Preventing Illicit Finance Act, which was introduced by Rep. Axne and Rep. Bryan Steil (WI-01) earlier this year, to create an advisory group of federal agencies and private sector experts to limit the use of the financial system by bad actors.

The FY21 NDAA also includes $18.5 million for the National Guard’s RC-26 aircraft, which is critical to domestic security and disaster assistance, and a priority for Rep. Axne.

In addition, the annual defense policy bill includes:

  • a 3% pay increase for members of the military
  • long-overdue benefits for Vietnam-era veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange
  • an extension of paid parental leave to approximately 100,000 federal civilian workers
  • an expansion of housing vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness, an effort supported and co-sponsored by Rep. Axne
  • a requirement that each federal agency establish a model Equal Employment Opportunity Program that is independent of the agency's Human Capital or General Counsel office and establishes requirements related to complaints of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace

For the first time, ownership disclosure will be required for anonymous shell companies, which in addition to aiding tax avoidance can also be utilized by foreign adversaries and terrorists to dodge anti-money laundering laws.

Earlier this year, Rep. Axne co-led an amendment to the NDAA with former RC-26 pilot Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) and Iowa Reps. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) to ensure that the RC-26 remains in Iowa.