Rep. Soto’s Amendments, Central Florida Priorities Passes in NDAA

May 24, 2018
Press Release
FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act passes House 351-66

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed six amendments offered by Congressman Darren Soto in the National Defense Authorization Act (HR5515), which authorizes funds and sets policy for defense-related activities for Fiscal Year 2019. Rep. Soto’s provisions will advance high-tech manufacturers in the district, equip Florida’s JROTC curriculum with cybersecurity and computer programming; and assist military members who are recovering from trauma related to sexual assault.

“The FY19 NDAA passed with great wins to provide for our troops and their families, and I’m pleased it will also include my provisions to increase protections for service members who are victims of sexual violence, boost higher paying jobs and technological advancements in Central Florida,” stated Rep. Soto. “All Floridians will strongly benefit from these measures. I’m proud to deliver these results for our district!” 

The following amendments authored by Rep. Soto passed the House unanimously:

Providing STEM Education for JROTC

  • JROTC Cybersecurity and Computer Programing  – Includes cybersecurity and computer programing into the JROTC curriculum.

Supporting Victims of Military Sexual Assault

  • PTSD Pilot Program for Military Sexual Trauma  – This amendment added universities to the list of entities authorized to partner with the Department of Defense’s pilot program on treatment of members of the armed forces for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to military sexual trauma. By including universities to the list of entities that can participate in this intensive outpatient program, the University of Central Florida’s RESTORES program can now qualify for this important pilot program.
  • Resources Available for Exiting Service Members that were Victims of Military Sexual Assault – This amendment requires the inclusion of resources available to treat victims of military sexual trauma as part of the required service member pre-separation counseling.
  • Confidentiality of Military Academy Transfers for Victims of Military Sexual Assault – Directs the Secretary concerned to make the application for transfer, including determinations and actions regarding the application, confidential for students of military academies who are victims of sexual assault.

Increasing High-Tech Research

  • Blockchain Technology Amendment– Directs the Department of Defense to also consider distributed ledger technologies (blockchain) when performing their review and assessment on advancements in Artificial Intelligence and associated technologies like quantum sciences and high-performance computing.
  • Permanent Authorization of Defense Exportability Program Amendment – Permanently authorizes the Defense Exportability Feature Pilot Program, which encourages program management to design and develop technology protection features in systems during the research and development state. Specifically, this program implements anti-tamper technologies and other system engineering activities meant to prevent or delay exploitation of critical technologies. This program supports BRIDG activities, which helps develop devices that are resistant to malicious tampering while developing techniques to harden devices.

Rep. Soto passed the second highest number of floor amendments to the FY 2019 NDAA. With the passage of this bill, Congressman Soto has now passed 30 amendments out of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 115th Congress.