Rep. Soto’s 4 Amendments Pass in House Defense Bill
Today, the U.S House of Representatives passed four amendments introduced by Rep. Darren Soto in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes funds and sets policy for defense-related activities for Fiscal Year 2020. Rep. Soto’s legislation increases healthcare access for American troops and supports technological advances impacting Central Florida.
“Military families, especially our deployed troops, deserve Congress’s unwavering support,” stated Rep. Soto. “Our NDAA funding bill is a strong, smart investment in our national defense strategy. The provisions I introduced will strongly benefit Floridians, like the $5 million intended for BRIDG in our district helping to secure our military’s microelectronics. I’m proud to deliver these results for our district!”
The following key provisions authored by Rep. Soto were adopted unanimously:
- Ensuring Access to Operational Medical Care – Directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct, and submit to Congress, an assessment of the required size and composition of medical and dental personnel needed to support deployed troops.
- Increased Microelectronics Program – increases funding for the manufacturing science and technology program by $5 million for anti-tamper heterogeneous integrated microelectronics. Helps local private-public partnerships like BRIDG in Central Florida.
- Trusted Supply Chain for Microelectronics– directs the Secretary of Defense to establish trusted supply chain and operational security standards for the purchase of microelectronic products and services by the Department of Defense.
- Blockchain Technology for Defense Purposes – bipartisan effort for the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to provide to the Congressional defense committees a briefing on the potential use of blockchain technology for defense purposes.
Some of the key Democratic priorities that are contained in the overall bill include:
- Giving our servicemembers a pay raise of 3.1 percent, the same as requested by the President.
- Numerous provisions to take care of military families, improve military housing and clean up contaminated drinking water at military bases;
- Provisions to promote diversity and inclusion in the military;
- Prohibiting any funding in the bill to be used for the construction of a wall, barrier or fence along the southern land border;
- Protecting children at the border by prohibiting DOD funds to house unaccompanied children forcibly separated from their parent or legal guardian by CBP within 100 miles of the border of the United States;
- Requiring DOD briefings to Congress on Russian election interference and requires DOD to issue a strategy on countering Russian election interference in the 2020 elections;
- Requiring DOD to take a number of steps to both address climate change and fund mitigation activities;
- Taking steps to accelerate the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility; and
- Prohibiting funding for the deployment of new, low-yield nuclear missile warheads.