Senator Murray: “We have much more work ahead of us to meet this moment and guarantee equity in our armed forces”

(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement in response to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) passing the Senate by a vote of 86-14. Senator Murray voted in favor of the bill.

“I’m glad this bill takes some important steps to support our brave servicemembers at home and abroad, address sexual assault in the military, begin reckoning with our nation’s history of racial injustice, and start to limit the transfer of military equipment to law enforcement, but we have much more work ahead of us to meet this moment and guarantee equity in our armed forces. We need to ensure that members of the transgender community who want to serve their country are able to do so, that all our servicemembers and their families have a fair shot at accessing retirement benefits they’re entitled to, and that weapons of war and federal law enforcement are not used against Americans exercising their First Amendment rights, among other measures.

“As the Senate and House now look to develop a bill that that both chambers of Congress can agree on, I will continue working as a voice for our servicemembers, veterans, and military families to ensure their needs, and the needs of our country in this moment, are met.”

Senator Murray is a former chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and a longtime advocate for veterans and those actively serving in the military, working to bolster federal support for military child care center construction and other critical services for servicemembers and military families. In the lead-up to this year’s NDAA, Senator Murray introduced legislation and an accompanying amendment to improve financial security and access to retirement benefits for military families, and cosponsored amendments to the NDAA to end President Trump’s hateful transgender service ban, rename Confederacy-inspired military basses and assets, stop the transfer of tear gas and other military equipment to police departments, and block federal law enforcement from occupying American cities.