Larsen Shapes National Defense Authorization Act to Support National Security, Servicemembers, and Military Communities
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, helped shape the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Rep. Larsen successfully secured provisions to protect U.S. national security and support the women and men in the military and the Department of Defense civilian workforce.
“The NDAA makes important investments to strengthen military readiness, support servicemembers and their families and prepare for the future of warfare,” said Larsen. “I am thankful to my colleagues for including bipartisan priorities in the NDAA and look forward to working with the Committee to bring this over the finish line and provide our military the support they deserve.”
Future of Work
In Fiscal Year 2017, the Department of Defense supported servicemembers in obtaining more than 16,000 certifications, most in electrical and mechanical equipment repair fields. Rep. Larsen is committed to ensuring that veterans are able to transfer knowledge, skills and abilities attained in uniform to civilian careers. Larsen’s amendment will help servicemembers work towards the most valuable credentials for future employment.
As autonomous systems play an increasingly important role in warfare, Larsen pressed the U.S. Navy to expand university research access into how these systems will be used, how they can solve problems and what issues need more investigation.
The base bill increased the budget authority for university grant programs and Larsen successfully included an amendment that requires a briefing on Navy support for academic research into autonomous systems.
Supporting Local Military Communities
Locally, the NDAA includes provisions that will benefit Northwest Washington’s military families, installations and the surrounding communities.
Larsen successfully included $40 million for Impact Aid payments to schools that serve military students, like the Oak Harbor School District, with an additional $10 million for students with severe disabilities. This amount represents a 43 percent increase over the 2017 level.
Noise reductions for the Super Hornet and Growler will help sailors working in close proximity to aircraft and communities near these squadrons. Rep. Larsen successfully included an amendment to increase the budget authority for research into reducing engine noise by $2.5 million.
Support for Small Businesses
Rep. Larsen helped secure two important provisions in this bill to benefit small businesses. First, the bill doubles the budget authority for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, which help businesses work with the federal government.
Larsen also offered as an amendment a bipartisan bill from Reps. Nydia Velazquez (NY-12) and Steve Chabot (OH-01) which will ensure small businesses working on federal construction projects have access to payment protections.
The NDAA now heads to the full house for a vote.