WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, outlined a number of her priorities in the upcoming annual defense bill.

“Every year we work on vitally important legislation to ensure the Pentagon is working efficiently and our warfighters are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to win the battle of today and well into the future,” said Senator Ernst. “As someone who wore those ‘boots on the ground,’ I know what we do here matters to our troops on the front lines.

“This year I will continue my work across the aisle to prevent sexual assault within our military, fund working treatments for traumatic brain injury, ensure military men and women have body armor that fits, and that our Pentagon is not wasting your tax dollars. In addition to supporting today’s troops, we must fund emerging technologies to ensure our servicemembers of tomorrow have what they need to defend our nation and our way of life.”  

Senator Ernst’s priorities in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act will:

Protect Troops:

  • Proper-fitting body armor for female soldiers
  • Help to stop sexual assault in the military, including the Coast Guard
  • Fund proven and effective medical treatments for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 
  • Hazard pay for National Guard troops on the front lines to fight COVID-19
  • Improve survivability for military combat vehicles

Preserve Tax Dollars

  • Stop duplication and waste in DOD research
  • Let taxpayers see how unclassified DOD research money is spent
  • Get back-payments from foreign nations who owe us over a billion dollars

Promote Technology

  • Increase funding for counter-drone weapons to stop unmanned attacks on troops
  • Manufacture better vehicles for Special Operation Forces (SOF)
  • Deploy Artificial Intelligence for SOF in the field
  • Purchase better guns and ammo for Army Soldiers

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