Congressman Jason Crow Advances Colorado Priorities in the National Defense Authorization Act
On early Thursday morning following over 20 hours of debate, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) including key priorities for Colorado advocated by Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06), who serves on the Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities subcommittee and Readiness subcommittee. The final bill passed Committee by a vote of 33-24. The HASC is responsible for passing the NDAA which authorizes the Department of Defense policies and funding each year.
“As a soldier, I have been on the receiving end of Congress’ decisions about how to fund our military, and to bring that perspective to the NDAA process was a privilege. I was also proud to advocate for Colorado’s priorities during the mark-up, including my provisions to require the military to prepare for climate change, improve cybersecurity for America’s small businesses, and prevent defense funds from being used to separate children from their parents at the border,” said Crow.
Crow’s amendments, bills, and provisions secured in the passage of the NDAA would help advance Colorado priorities, including:
- Military Installation Resilience Assuredness (MIRA) Act - A requirement that major military installations plan for climate change when drafting master plans and identify vulnerabilities and plans to address them. In recent years, extreme weather events brought on by global warming have resulted in billions of dollars spent on base repairs, such as $3.6 billion for Camp Lejeune following Hurricane Florence, which has severely hindered military readiness.
- SBA Cyber Awareness Act - The incorporation of the SBA Cyber Awareness Act, a bill Rep. Crow introduced that passed the Small Business Committee in May. This bill takes several important steps to strengthen the Small Business Administration's (SBA) cybersecurity to handle and report cyber threats that affect small businesses, including requiring the SBA to issue reports on cyber threats and attacks, and require information on technology infrastructure procured from Chinese, Russian, North Korean and Iranian-owned companies. Colorado is home to over 610,000 small businesses which employ over 1.1 million people.
- Prohibiting support to separate families - An amendment prohibiting the Department of Defense from supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to forcibly separate children from their parents. This provision ensures the Department of Defense will not be used as in the Administration’s immoral immigration agenda.
- Fair competition in space launch - A bipartisan effort with Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) to ensure fair competition for National Security Space Launch was agreed upon with Chairman Smith. This revision of the Chairman’s Mark was supported by United Launch Alliance (ULA), based in Centennial, and thousands of aerospace workers who are employed in and around the district.
- Colorado National Guard and the Space Corps - An amendment included that would prevent Colorado National Guard and reserve personnel from being involuntarily transferred to the newly created Space Corps - protecting hundreds of jobs in Colorado.
- End-use monitoring - An amendment to require the Department of Defense, with the Department of State, to assess end-use monitoring compliance of Egyptian security forces operating in the Sinai peninsula. This is part of the Congressman’s efforts to reassert American values in international affairs and ensure that our partners are using defense aid appropriately.
- Security clearance processing - An amendment to require the Department of Defense to report on what reforms are being planned and implemented to reduce the backlog in clearance processing while ensuring the highest standards of quality. This provision would help thousands of employees and companies who are routinely stymied by the under-resourced and mismanaged security clearance process.
- Enhancing educational incentives at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) - The incorporation of the DLI Act was a joint effort by Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), the original author of the bill, and Congressman Crow to provide additional educational incentives for attendees of the Defense Language Institute who wish to continue their studies.
- Increasing servicemembers’ pay by 3.1-percent
- Supporting the reestablishment of the U.S. Space Command
- Reauthorizing Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and expanding eligibility
- Ensuring our Afghanistan reconstruction efforts are durable and incorporate historically underrepresented groups
- Prohibiting funds for the construction of a wall at the southern border
- Improving government oversight of U.S. military operations
- Protecting military families that utilize privatized housing
- Creating sustainable and resilient installations and infrastructure
- Advancing programs which integrate communities and installations infrastructure
- Curbing use of PFOS/PFOA at installations and researching effective disposal
- Emphasizing the critical role of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) on helping small businesses
- Promoting the importance of our alliances and partnerships around the world