Jul 23 2020
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 with several adopted amendments supported by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
“I am committed to working for my fellow Utahns who bravely serve in the armed forces and ensuring their voices are heard in Congress,” Sen. Lee said. “These amendments are win-wins for the state of Utah, the members of our nation’s armed forces, and the American taxpayers.”
Included in the legislation was Sen. Lee’s Allied Burden Sharing Report amendment, which would require the Department of Defense (DoD) to submit a report on the contributions made by our allies to the common defense. This bill would allow Congress to perform its oversight over U.S. agreements with our allies to know whether they are paying their share of the costs associated with our mutual defense strategy.
Sen. Lee also worked with Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) to include language in the bill that would require the DoD to hire veterans into civilian positions without having to wait the arbitrary six months currently mandated. This destructive 180-day hiring restriction has posed an artificial barrier to entry for highly skilled veterans who are needed most and can least afford to wait, a problem that this legislation would correct.
Additionally, Sen. Lee worked with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) to include an amendment requiring the DoD to report on our nation’s Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) program. This program was established by the DoD to provide the U.S. with state-of-the-art defense capabilities for chemical and biological warfare environments, and much of their critical work is undertaken at Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah. The passage of this amendment will ensure that Congress better understands the mission-essential work done by this program to keep our troops safe from chemical and biological contaminants.