House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., introduced Thursday his proposal for the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that would earmark $3.6B in funds for the Indo-Pacific Reassurance Initiative as part of efforts to counter China, Defense News reported Friday.
“Our goal in this was to send a signal to our partners and allies that we have an enduring commitment to the region and that collectively we want to help address the full spectrum of security threats that our partners and allies in the region face,” a HASC aide told reporters in a conference call Thursday.
Smith’s proposal would require the Department of Defense to come up with analyses before Congress authorizes the U.S. military to increase its presence in the Pacific and is part of the HASC’s draft NDAA slated for a committee markup on Wednesday, July 1.
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House panel, has proposed his version of the Indo-Pacific Deterrence Initiative that would allocate $6B in FY 2021 funds to support air and military defense platforms and military construction efforts in allied countries. He said in a memo that he will recommend amendments during the markup “focused on specific authorities and investments needed to strengthen greater cooperation with allies and partners."
The House committee's proposed FY 2021 NDAA would authorize approximately $732B in discretionary budget for national defense, including approximately $69B in funds for overseas contingency operations.