WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after President Obama signed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law, which included several of her provisions.
“The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act makes our government more efficient and provides our men and women in uniform with the critical and necessary tools to protect our great nation,” said Senator Ernst. “I am pleased that my provisions included in the bill will now be enacted into law, including sweeping reforms to modernize and streamline operations at the Department of Defense, as well as legislation I introduced with Senator Claire McCaskill to protect military sexual assault survivors from retaliation. I am grateful that this bipartisan effort will ensure our servicemembers are properly equipped to face the ever-evolving challenges at home and abroad.”
Summary of Ernst Measures Included in the NDAA:
- Seeks to end retaliation against sexual assault survivors by making retaliation its own crime in the military.
- Creates a pilot program for military lawyers to enhance criminal justice within the military and provide more effective defense and prosecution for servicemembers.
- Implements a delay in requiring the National Guard to convert some of its Dual Status Military Technicians to federal civilian status.
- Makes permanent the National Guard State Partnership Program which enhances our military and diplomatic efforts around the world.
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the career progression track for female servicemembers.
- Requires the DoD to report on its acquisition of contracts which would enhance congressional oversight to ensure the DoD is getting the best value for taxpayer dollars.
- Seeks to reduce drunk driving and provide employment opportunities to military families by requiring the DoD to develop a policy to afford base access to transportation companies.
- Enhances whistleblower protections for those servicemembers and DoD employees who report wrongdoing at the DoD.
- Requires the DoD to report on the progress of women in previously closed combat positions.
- Provides funds for much needed renovations at the Women in Military Service for American Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Provides funds to the Army and Marine Corps to enhance the small arms and ammunition capabilities of our Soldiers and Marines.
- Requires a review of the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and seeks to eliminate unnecessary overhead, waste, and mismanagement, as well as to enhance intelligence support to our warfighters.
- Maintains suicide prevention programs in the Army Reserves and National Guard.
- Improves federal government program and project management practices by requiring the development of government wide standards, policies, and guidelines for program management.
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