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Blue Dogs Endorse Slate of NDAA Amendments to Support US Service Members

September 22, 2021 by TWN Staff
Indo-Pacific Warfighting Exercise (Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Aubuchon, 3rd Marine Division)

WASHINGTON — The Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats has endorsed a slate of amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act. 

These amendments include measures that the Blue Dogs contend would strengthen support for U.S. service members as they transition to civilian life; counter the Chinese government’s global influence and hold foreign adversaries accountable; and enhance oversight over Defense Department spending and programs.

The coalition is well known for its dedication to both national security and fiscal responsibility. The endorsement announced Wednesday builds on its past efforts to strengthen the national defense.

Earlier this year, Blue Dog Coalition leadership sent a letter to the House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers, House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairwoman Betty McCollum, and House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Calvert, outlining the Coalition’s main priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA and Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Defense Appropriations legislation. 

Many of those priorities have been included in the NDAA that is anticipated to come to the House floor for a vote this week.

“This year’s NDAA addresses the needs of our men and women in uniform in a changing world and provides our military the tools it needs to modernize and confront the global threats of tomorrow,” said Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., chair of the Blue Dog Coalition’s Task Force on National Security. 

“I’m proud to see that the Blue Dog Coalition’s priorities have been included in the NDAA. The amendments our members are offering will further strengthen this legislation, enhance our national security, meet the current cyber threat, and ensure our military remains the most effective fighting force in the world,” Sherrill said.

The Blue Dog Coalition-endorsed amendments would accomplish the following:

  1. Strengthen Support for U.S. Service Members As They Transition to Civilian Life:
  • Sherrill 756: Implements a pilot program to optimize services available for transitioning service members and provide valuable data for future transition efforts.
  • Schneider 608: Codifies the successful Boots to Business program into law. This existing program provides entrepreneurial training for service members transitioning to civilian life.  
  1. Counter the Chinese Government’s Global Influence and Hold Foreign Adversaries Accountable:
  • Case 307: Requires the Department of Defense to report to Congress on its efforts to enhance the security partnership between the U.S. and Indo-Pacific countries.
  • Spanberger 324: Codifies the Federal Reserve’s Financial Stability Report into law and requires the Fed to include in that report any threats or stability risks to the U.S. financial system emanating from banking institutions in China.  Instructs U.S. representatives at the International Monetary Fund and the Financial Stability Board to strengthen international cooperation to monitor and mitigate risks to the U.S. financial system emanating from China.    
  • Spanberger 571: Strengthens interagency coordination and response to suspected attacks presenting as anomalous health incidents, sometimes referred to as “Havana Syndrome.” It would do so by requiring the administration to designate senior officials at the National Security Council and at relevant agencies to manage and coordinate the U.S.’s response to these attacks and report to Congress on these efforts.
  1. Enhance Oversight of DoD Spending and Programs:
  • Schrader 46: Requests the Government Accountability Office to publish a report on the obligation and expenditure of funds that were authorized to be appropriated for Overseas Contingency Operations for Fiscal Year 2010 and Fiscal Year 2019.
  • Bourdeaux 726: Requires the DoD to issue a report on the status of its progress in implementing GAO-recommended improvements to the Procurement Technical Assistance Program, including collaboration with the Small Business Administration.
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