Annual Defense Bill Advances with Ernst’s Support and Priorities Included

The Iowa Senator, a combat veteran, successfully secured nearly all of her priorities in the FY20 NDAA, including her proposals to: address and prevent military sexual assault, provide oversight on resources given to the Pentagon, and invest in critical technologies.

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, proudly supported the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The final bipartisan, bicameral defense bill includes nearly all of Senator Ernst’s priorities, including her proposals to address military sexual assault, to improve Iowa’s critical contributions to our nation’s defense, and to invest in technological advancements to face the threats of today and well into the future.

“Having worn our nation’s uniform, I take seriously the responsibility we have to provide our servicemembers with the support, authorities, and resources they need to carry out their mission. This bipartisan defense bill includes a number of my priorities that will directly impact all Americans and bolster our national security so that we are outpacing and maintaining a strategic advantage against our adversaries.”

“Congress has passed an annual defense bill 58 years in a row, and in an overwhelmingly bipartisan way, and I’m proud to say that after tremendous hard work and commitment, we’ve fulfilled our obligation once again. The House and Senate have acted, and I’m confident President Trump will swiftly sign this critical bill into law,” said Senator Joni Ernst, the first female combat veteran elected to the Senate.

Nearly all of Ernst’s priorities from the Senate-passed NDAA were included in the FY20 NDAA Conference Report. Below are a few highlights:

  • Expanding support for victims of military sexual assault and domestic violence through provisions focusing on both prevention and successful prosecution of these serious offenses;
  • Improving research on TBI among servicemembers and strengthening the capacity to track and mitigate injuries caused by blast pressure exposure;
  • Sustaining and enhancing the workload at the Rock Island Arsenal;
  • Ensuring the production of much needed combat munitions at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant;
  • Requesting a briefing on DoD’s efficient and transparent use of Iowa tax dollars through language similar to Ernst’s COST Act;
  • Ensuring the Special Operations Command has the resources and authorities they need to be most effective in the fight today and in the future;
  • Increasing research and development for key technologies like artificial intelligence, directed energy, and hypersonics to deter adversaries such as China and Russia.

For a full recap of the Ernst provisions included in the bill, click here.

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