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Rep. Cuellar Highlights Inclusion of the ‘I Am Vanessa Guillen Act’

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The I am Vanessa Guillen Act is named after U.S. Army Spc.Vanessa Guillen who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a fellow service member at Fort Hood, Texas. Image for illustration purposes. Image source:  Facebook.com
The I am Vanessa Guillen Act is named after U.S. Army Spc.Vanessa Guillen who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a fellow service member at Fort Hood, Texas. Image for illustration purposes. Image source: Facebook.com

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Washington, DC — U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) praised the passage of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act which supports a total of $777.7 billion for national defense funding. The legislation authorizes $740.0 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $27.8 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).

“Our nation faces unprecedented national security challenges, both at home and abroad. As a senior House appropriator, it is my duty to ensure that our national defense has the funding necessary to carry out its mission,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This bill includes critical funding and proposes new measures for our service members, including the I am Vanessa Guillen Act which establishes critical military justice reforms to prevent sexual assault and keep our service members safe. I thank all those who serve and will continue to push for legislation that makes our defense community a safer and more efficient community.”

Highlights that Rep. Cuellar secured include: 

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  • Authorized military justice reform efforts enabling critical reforms to military justice to prevent sexual assault & keep our servicemembers safe.
  • Secured language resourcing $2,000,000 for Human Performance Optimization Center at the University of Texas Health and Science Center San Antonio. 
  • Established efforts to enhance the Western Hemisphere Security Cooperation to protect the nation against undue influence from foreign adversaries.
  • Providing funding to support a 2.7 percent pay raise for both military servicemembers and the DOD civilian workforce.
  • Strengthening and securing the national supply chain and supporting the defense industrial base.
  • Advancing the Department of Defense’s cybersecurity strategy and capabilities.

The I am Vanessa Guillen Act is named after U.S. Army Spc.Vanessa Guillen who was sexually assaulted and murdered by a fellow service member at Fort Hood, Texas. The provisions in the legislation add external accountability for sexual assault reform within military ranks.

The FY22 NDAA legislation passed the House on December 7 with a 363-70 vote. The legislation passed the Senate on December 15 by a vote of 88-11. It now heads to the President’s desk for signature.

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