Crucial elements provided by U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) are included in a newly signed federal defense law.

President Donald Trump on Dec. 12 signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA) into law, which authorizes nearly $700 billion in national defense spending, as well as the resources and policies needed to rebuild the United States military. The original bill was introduced in June by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX).

“The National Defense Authorization Act is critical to the overarching mission of our service members and our great nation. I am pleased President Trump signed this legislation into law and has made it a top priority to improve the readiness and strength of our military,” said Sen. Ernst, chairman of the Senate Armed Service’s Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

Ernst authored more than three dozen measures included in the NDAA — five bills and 32 provisions — concerning myriad issues, including enlisted-personnel compensation, suicide prevention and defense contracting, among many others.

“I am glad to see 37 of my provisions enacted into law, including my continued efforts to combat sexual assault and hold bad actors within our military accountable for their actions,” Ernst said.

“I am grateful that this bipartisan defense package enacts these measures, and many more, to provide the necessary support for our men and women in uniform as they protect and defend our homeland,” she added.
Rep. Fitzpatrick wrote or sponsored six NDAA amendments that addressed water contamination, reporting on China, terror financing, and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) reform.

“When it comes to protecting our homeland, our families and our allies abroad, there is no room for partisanship,” the congressman said.

A member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Fitzpatrick said each of the measures strengthened the overall bill.

“I’m proud that the House accepted my amendments in overwhelming bipartisan fashion,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’m proud to deliver these results for the people of our district.”

The NDAA also includes Rep. Curbelo’s Foreign Spill Protection Act, H.R. 468, which would incentivize all foreign offshore producers to implement the safest technologies and practices to reduce the likelihood of a major spill.

“I’m proud of the enactment of this forward-looking legislation to anticipate the risks of a foreign-based oil spill impacting American waters and coastlines, ensuring foreign entities responsible for an oil spill affecting U.S. waters and our coastline are also responsible for all cleanup costs, regardless of where the spill took place,” Curbelo said.