But the Senate bill being considered this week was stripped of that language, which prompted delegates to call on the Democratic Senate to add the language back.
"Just imagining returning home to the United States after many months of life-threatening combat," Sablan said. "Imagine the relief you feel to be safe and the joyfulness of the welcome you expect to receive. Then imagine as you enter that welcoming ceremony, you see displayed the flags of every state, but the flag of your own home is missing.
"This is the sad experience for some 36,000 service men and women ... whose home is the District of Columbia or one of the United States territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and my own district, the Northern Mariana Islands."
Dels. Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands) and Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) also spoke in favor of reinstating the language.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it was unclear when the Senate would complete work on the NDAA. The Senate approved two amendments aimed at protecting service members who are victims of rape or suffer from mental health issues, and approved another amendment maintaining the ability of the military to invest in and buy alternative fuels.