WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, December 8th, 2020, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) voted YES on the passage of the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2021. This year's NDAA included several of Fitzpatrick's legislative priorities and will strengthen our armed forces and their support system.

Fitzpatrick has previously advocated for sanctioning the Russian Nord Stream 2 project. Fitzpatrick has sent several letters to Congressional leadership urging increased sanctions on Russia related to the Nord Stream 2 project. These sanctions are included in this year’s NDAA, listed under Title XII, Subtitle E. Nord Stream 2 is a pipeline currently under construction in the Baltic Sea, connecting Russia and Germany. The new pipeline will run alongside the already constructed Nord Stream and will double the amount of gas being funneled through the Baltics to 110 billion cubic meters per year. Estimated to become operational in early 2020, the pipeline is intended to provide Europe with a sustainable gas supply while providing Russia with more direct access to the European gas market. It is widely believed that Nord Stream 2 will increase Germany's dependency on Russian oil and gas, which could make it susceptible to exploitation and more vulnerable to interference.

“I am pleased to see that the conference committee included language sanctioning the Nord Stream 2 project in this year's NDAA,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is no secret that Russia is planning to use the Nord Stream 2 project as a political and economic weapon and to threaten their neighbors. We must hold Russia accountable for their actions in any way we can.”

Fitzpatrick's Global Child Thrive Act, which he introduced with Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20) in October of 2019 and passed the House in September of 2020, is listed under Title XII, Subtitle I. This bill builds upon the foundation of the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005 by strengthening the implementation of policies that advance early childhood development internationally. The bill expands the number of agencies over which the Special Advisor has explicit authority to coordinate early childhood development policies. It also directs the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to engage relevant executive agencies to incorporate early childhood development into current programming over the next five years.

“I am thrilled to see my bipartisan and bicameral Global Child Thrive Act in this year's NDAA. One of my greatest concerns has always been the welfare of children, not just children in the United States but children across the globe,” said Fitzpatrick. “This legislation will direct relevant federal departments and agencies to incorporate early childhood development into their work and builds on existing interagency collaboration. It is of the utmost importance that we help other countries help their children. As we all know, focusing on children is focusing on our future.”

The NDAA is an annual bill to authorize funding for the Department of Defense and the national security programs of the Department of Energy. The final FY 21 NDAA conference report is the product of months of bipartisan and bicameral negotiations and built on broad consensus. This year's priorities include implementing the National Defense Strategy to confront current and future security challenges from China, Russia, transnational terrorism, and beyond; regaining a wide margin of military superiority; building a National Security Innovation Base to maintain our technological advantage; securing our supply chain; prioritizing accountability and streamlining operations at the Department of Defense (DOD); and, most importantly, taking care of our service members and their families.

To read the full text of the Global Child Thrive Act, click here.

To read a section-by-section of the NDAA conference report, click here.

To read the full NDAA conference report, click here.