WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Jim Banks voted alongside a majority of House members to pass H.R. 7776, the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (FY23 NDAA). Rep. Banks is a member of the House Armed Service Committee and serves as a Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems.
Rep. Banks has been one of Congress’s most outspoken critics of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) vaccine mandate. After securing several of northeast Indiana’s defense priorities, Rep. Banks voted in favor of the FY23 NDAA’s final passage.
Said Rep. Banks said, “Today, Congress prevented the wrongful termination of at least 60,000 patriotic U.S. servicemembers. That is a victory worth celebrating.
After Republicans retake the majority in January, we need to make amends to the many servicemembers harmed by the Biden DoD’s unjust, and partisan vaccine mandate. I will fight to reinstate the roughly 6,000 soldiers who were fired and I will do everything I can to provide financial compensation to the 60,000 servicemembers who saw their benefits slashed.
As the only Hoosier member of the Armed Services Committee in the House or Senate, I am proud of the legislative wins I was able to secure for our state.
Seeing the House pass two legislative proposals inspired by Lauren Tomkiewicz, the widow of Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz was one of the high points of my time in Congress. Additionally, the transition from A-10s to F-16s at the 122nd Fighter Wing will benefit thousands of Hoosiers, spur significant economic growth in our state, and help prepare our nation for any battle we may face. The passage of the FY23 NDAA has a tremendous economic impact for Indiana, especially Northeast Indiana.”
The FY23 NDAA included language that will retire 21 A-10 aircraft at the Fort Wayne Air National Guard Base, paving the way for the 122nd Fighter Wing to become a hub for F-16 aircraft.
This legislation also included two provisions introduced by Rep. Jim Banks and inspired by Lauren Tomkiewicz, the widow of Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz of Fort Wayne.
The first ensures that the remains of U.S. service members are transferred on military aircraft. If extenuating logistical circumstances prevent this, the family of the deceased servicemember must be notified and given the option of signing a waiver to allow for the commercial transfer of remains.
The second included provision requires the Department of Defense to conduct a study on the notification processes of the next of kin upon the death of a service member of the Armed Forces and encourage a process for more timely notifications.