U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette chairs hearing on vaccines

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette chairs a hearing of the oversight subcommittee on the issue of COVID-19 vaccines on July 21, 2020.

U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Doug Lamborn will serve on the conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appointed DeGette along with more than four dozen other Democratic representatives. The annual bill establishes defense policies, programs, and pay and benefits.

“Democratic conferees will work tirelessly to ensure that the FY 2021 NDAA maintains key priorities for our servicemembers,” said Pelosi in a statement, “including a critical pay raise for our military, funding to clean up so-called PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ that contaminate drinking water on bases, improvements to sexual assault prevention and response in the armed forces, a billion-dollar Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, expanded paid parental leave for civilian employees, and investments in combating the climate crisis.”

The bill also includes a provision to remove the names of Confederate soldiers from U.S. military installations.

Included in this year’s NDAA is DeGette’s Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, which would preserve more than 50 wilderness areas covering 1.4 million acres in Colorado, Washington and California. Colorado would constitute 660,000 of those acres.

“Protecting more of our nation’s wilderness for future generations to enjoy is vital not only to the overall health of our planet, but also to our nation’s military, who use these untouched terrains to train some of our nation’s most elite pilots,” DeGette said.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., appointed Lamborn, citing his position as the top Republican on the Readiness Subcommittee.

"I am confident that we can remove partisan or extraneous leftwing provisions and restore this bill to the bipartisan legislation which unanimously passed the House Armed Services Committee," said Lamborn on Thursday morning.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect Lamborn's appointment to the conference committee.

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