Texas Insider Report: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) recently acted to provide critical funding for our military and Texas first responders by voting in support of H.R. 6395, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021. This legislation authorizes vital funding for the Department of Defense to provide our military the resources they need to successfully defend our nation. It also includes critical resources to help first responders perform high water rescues during high flood events in the Texas Gulf Coast and other flood ravaged areas. NDAA passed the House by a vote of 335-78.
Notably, the bill includes text from Olson’s bill, the Lifting Up Our First Responders Act (H.R. 5407) which would allow the military to prioritize distribution of surplus high water rescue vehicles to our vulnerable Texas communities. Specifically, it helps emergency responders rescue individuals trapped by floods by restructuring the 1033 Program to prioritize the distribution of repurposed military vehicles to high-risk flood areas, especially Texas’ 22nd congressional district. Olson has received strong local support on this legislative action.
“When Hurricane Harvey hit, our local first responders lacked needed equipment to rescue folks trapped in rising flood waters,” Olson said. “I’ve been working closely with local officials and here in DC to give our first responders needed equipment to protect our communities during hurricanes and floods. The provision I worked to include allows vehicles not needed by our Armed Forces to be sent to local communities where they will save lives. I’m proud of the bipartisan support, not only for this critical provision, but also needed resources to keep our military men and women defending the homeland safe and prepared against the dangerous threats we face around the globe. As a Navy veteran, I’m proud to support this bill and look forward to the Senate acting swiftly to send it President Trump’s desk to keep Texans and all Americans safe.”
“The City of Alvin acquired several surplus military vehicles. During Hurricane Harvey the City used two of the vehicles to make high water rescues of families trapped in their flooded homes. We also used a high water truck to deliver food and supplies to our neighboring City Manvel for several days. It traveled in water up to four feet deep. I applaud Congressman Olson's work to ensure our communities are able to obtain more of these vehicles.” -Mayor Paul Horn, City of Alvin, TX
“Through the years, the 1033 Program, has provided critical, life-saving, surplus military equipment that includes high-water rescue vehicles, to the Houston Police Department and public safety agencies throughout the Nation. Thanks to the support of Congressman Olson and the members of Congress, who favor this critical program, we will be better prepared to respond to flooding events we are facing with an ever increasing frequency.” -Chief Art Acevedo, Houston Chief of Police
“Our communities know all too well the impact of flooding and the importance for high water rescues. Congressman Olson’s provision will support our Fort Bend County first responders as they save lives of our residents during major weather events. These resources such as high water rescue vehicles are needed swiftly and decisively for communities like ours on the Gulf Coast.” -KP George, Fort Bend County Judge
The Lifting Up Our First Responders Act (H.R. 5407) allows the military to prioritize distribution of surplus high water rescue vehicles to communities that face a higher threat of flooding to help emergency responders rescue individuals trapped by floods.
FY 2021 NDAA-Highlights:
- Authorizes $635.5 billion in appropriations to fund the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD)
- Authorize cap-exempt appropriations of:
- $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)
- $26.6 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) and Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
- $494 million for defense-related activities
- Creates a program to bolster the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific positioning and alliances
- Funds additional attack submarines to counter China’s growing naval forces
- Creates a new director of cybersecurity position to fortify the U.S.’s cyber capabilities