Daines Applauds Passage of Critical Defense Legislation

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today applauded the bipartisan passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides critical support for the nation’s military and national security. The NDAA passed 85-13. 

“Authorizing the funding our military needs is more important now than ever as we witness radical Islam continue to take root around the world, and in our backyards,” Daines stated. “The tragedy in Orlando was another act of war on our homeland – and it is critical we provide our military the tools to destroy our enemies overseas and strengthen our security at home. I am proud this bipartisan legislation takes important steps towards improving our nation’s security.” 

The NDAA includes provisions that strengthen the information sharing and coordination between the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security in order to support increase situational awareness of the border and authorizes $1.3 billion in funding for the counter ISIL efforts overseas. 

Daines is urging the bicameral conferees of NDAA to ensure that the final legislation sent to the president includes his provision elevating Cyber Command to a Combatant Command. Daines led Senator John McCain and seven other bipartisan senators in calling for the elevation of the command – which is currently waging one of the most critical battles against ISIL online. Daines spoke about the importance of his provision on the Senate floor, view his remarks here.

Daines secured the following priorities for Montana:

  •  Unanimously passed an amendment requiring the Department of Defense to certify what security shortfalls the UH-1N has created, and how it will alleviate those risks with outside resources until the acquisition process for new helicopters is complete.  On May 5, Daines sent a letter to the Air Force requesting the consideration of utilizing National Guard and their HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters due to the security risks posed by the failure to replace the Vietnam era UH-1N helicopters.
  •  Unanimously passed an amendment to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less than honorable discharge from the military due to negative behavior resulting from mental traumas such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  The amendment has broad support from 10 major veteran groups.
  • Secured a provision in Chairman’s Mark of the NDAA delaying the mandate that states 20 percent of Title 32 Dual Status Technicians must be transferred to Title 5 employees. Daines sent a letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee in April requesting his provision be included due to the transfer of National Guard employees to Federal employee’s being a drastic federal overreach without a plan in place.