WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, released the following statement after the Senate passed the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The final package includes a number of the Iowa Senator’s measures and now heads to President Trump’s desk.

“Congress has done its duty and provided the necessary tools to our servicemembers who sacrifice daily to protect our country and maintain our freedoms. This bipartisan NDAA sustains and strengthens our national security against global threats, and I am pleased to see a number of my priorities included in this year’s bill.  I applaud my colleagues for their diligence in passing this necessary and bipartisan legislation, and urge the President to swiftly sign this bill into law,” said Senator Ernst.

The Senate, last month, passed the NDAA with Senator Ernst’s support. The final package secured many of Senator Ernst’s provisions to help bolster our nation’s security and support our military, including:

  • A provision to ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) artificial intelligence initiatives and research and development are better coordinated with academic research and industry;
  • Bipartisan legislation with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to treat and raise awareness for Traumatic Brain Injuries among servicemembers, specifically in training environments;
  • Authorization of additional research funding for physiological episodes plaguing our servicemembers, along with a provision that authorizes nearly $31 million in funding;
  • Authorization for the creation of a U.S. Army Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence in partnership with an arsenal;
  • A provision requiring DoD to develop a comprehensive space warfighting strategy, examine the feasibility of a declassification strategy to ensure deterrence, and examine the United States’ posture in the space warfighting domain;
  • Efforts to allow the Secretary of Defense to enable servicemembers to obtain professional credentials unrelated to their military career to enable a smoother transition;
  • Authorization for a Defense Institute on Human Factors Modeling and Simulation to maximize the effectiveness of the warfighter in each service branch;
  • Expansion of Regional Defense Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program to include irregular warfare.