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BIPARTISAN TRADITION: Sewell again appointed to NDAA Conference

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, announced Wednesday that U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL, would serve on the conference committee tasked with sussing out the differences in the House and Senate versions of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Members of the NCAA Conference, pulled from both chambers, will be tasked with coming together to resolve conflicts in the two distinct versions of the bill, passed in each chamber in June, with an eye toward coming to an accord on the yearly defense spending bill.

“The House and Senate have historically put politics aside on behalf of the American people to pass the NDAA,” Sewell said in a press release. “This critically important legislation authorizes our national defense priorities for the year and provides our brave men and women with the resources needed to carry out their missions across the world. I am committed to continuing this tradition and working to exclude any partisan provisions that threaten the defense and wellbeing of our nation.”

Sewell’s appointment Wednesday marks the second time the congresswoman, a senior member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Chair of the Subcommittee on Defense Intelligence and Warfighter Support (DIWS), has taken part in the NDAA talks.

“As a representative from a state that plays such a major part in our national security, I am honored to be able to play such a significant role as a conferee for the second consecutive year,” Sewell said.

The NDAA provides the funding required to equip, supply and train U.S. troops, as well as support military families, and has been passed by Congress for the past 58 consecutive years – for her part, Sewell said she is committed to upholding that “bipartisan tradition of passing a smart defense bill that provides service members with the resources they need to address and counter today’s increasingly complex national security challenges,” according to the release.

As a conferee to last year’s talks, Sewell was successful in securing language to improve federal campaign election security, increase intelligence funding and increase diversity within the Intelligence Community’s (IC) workforce.

Additionally, Sewell worked side-by-side with U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL, to repeal the Military Widow’s Tax, which taxed benefits due to military widows and widowers.