Warren Announces Legislation Included in National Defense Authorization Act
The defense bill includes provisions Senator Warren fought for, including policies to reduce pentagon emissions, help prevent civilian harm and combat price gouging by defense contractors.
Washington, D.C. — Today, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), announced key priorities secured in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23).
“Unfortunately this year’s NDAA exceeds the President’s budget request by $45 billion when Pentagon spending is already too high. I worked hard to include important reforms in this defense bill, including stronger rules to prevent civilian deaths in war, electrifying non-combat vehicles, and preventing defense contractors from price gouging American taxpayers,” said Senator Warren. "I advocated for this legislation to include support for Massachusetts to address issues like flood prevention and coastal management, and I'll keep fighting to provide communities with the resources they need to manage water and infrastructure challenges."
The following provisions are included in the FY 2023 NDAA, which Senator Warren pushed for:
- Reducing DoD vehicle emissions: The bill establishes a 2035 target for the Department of Defense's (DoD) fleet of non-tactical vehicles to be electric or zero-emissions, pending a DoD study. This provision reflects the intent of Senator Warren's Military Vehicle Fleet Electrification Act.
- Fundamentally reforming DoD's approach to preventing civilian harm: The bill creates a Civilian Protection Center of Excellence to serve as a focal point for civilian casualty, as was required by Senator Warren's recently reintroduced Protection of Civilians in Military Operations Act. The bill also provides $25 million in dedicated resources to implement the Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Plan being developed by DoD and reforms prescribed in the NDAA and enhances annual reporting on civilian harm as required by Senator Warren's Department of Defense Civilian Harm Transparency Act. Representatives Ro Khanna, Sara Jacobs, Jason Crow, and Tom Malinowski introduced companions to both bills in the House. It also extends DoD's authority to make payments to redress injury and loss incident to combat operations of U.S. forces for 10 years.
- Strengthening the resiliency of DoD's pharmaceutical supply chain: The bill includes provisions based on Senator Warren and Senator Rubio's Strengthening Supply Chains for Servicemembers and Security Act to direct the DoD to establish a working group and develop guidance for risk management of the pharmaceutical supply chain.
- Addressing misuse of pseudo classification: The bill requires the DoD Inspector General to assess whether DoD is properly using controlled unclassified information (CUI) authority and requires DoD to refine CUI guidance to only apply designations to keep information from the public for information that is truly sensitive. It also reiterates the importance of annual weapon testing reports remaining available to the public.
- Combating price gouging: The bill enhances DoD's authority to oversee whether contract prices are fair and reasonable. On June 9, 2022, Senator Warren and Representative John Garamendi (D-Calif.) introduced the Stop Price Gouging the Military Act, which would strengthen acquisition laws to help prevent price gouging by military contractors. This legislation seeks to close those loopholes, tie financial incentives for contractors to performance, and provide the DoD with the information necessary to prevent future rip-offs.
- Maintaining a healthy industrial base: The bill requires a Government Accountability Office review on the impact of mergers on DoD and whether DoD's current authorities and oversight processes are sufficient to prevent future harmful mergers.
- Addressing shortfalls in military housing: The bill requires annual briefings from DoD until they implement the public complaint database included in Senator Warren's Military Housing Oversight and Servicemember Protection Act. It also requires mandatory disclosure by military housing contractors of the presence of mold and the health effects of mycotoxins before a lease is signed and is part of a larger military housing bill we plan to introduce soon.
Investments for Massachusetts:
- MIT Lincoln Lab: This bill provides $2 million for superconducting microelectronics at Lincoln Laboratory.
- Circuit density study: This bill directs the DoD to contract with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) to develop a technology roadmap that charts the limits of increasing circuit density. This study could both help identify strategies to prevent overheating and reduce our reliance on foreign supply chains and its work being spearheaded at Lincoln Laboratory.
- $50 million in increased funding for STARBASE: This funding helps to support the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) enrichment program at Hanscom Air Force Base.
- Funding for public health threats of emerging diseases: The bill supports research of broad spectrum host-directed small molecule antivirals to treat national security and public health threats like COVID-19 that is conducted by innovative companies in Massachusetts.
- Boston North Shore Coastal Flood Damage Reduction and Environmental Enhancement Study: This bill expedites a regional feasibility study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the communities of Revere, Malden, Saugus, Lynn and Everett on flood protection and environmental enhancement options along the Saugus River basin.
- Feasibility Study of Flood Hazard Mitigation and Watershed Management along the Hoosic River: This bill expedites a feasibility study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to define the optimal design for a 21st-century flood risk mitigation system that can ensure the City of North Adams is protected from climate change and enhanced flood risks, thereby reducing growing threats to life, more than $600 million in property assets, and local infrastructure critical to the regional supply chain and economy. This study may potentially help restore the Hoosic River's aquatic and riparian ecosystems as well.
- Chelsea Creek Flood Protection Study: This bill expedites a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a comprehensive plan and conceptual design for flood protection infrastructure that can fortify the City of Chelsea, including, but not limited to, green infrastructure measures, hybrid measures, grey infrastructure measures, utility enhancements, and port improvements.
- Chatham Coastal Vulnerability Study: This bill expedites a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess existing and future impacts related to the ongoing natural evolution of the Nauset Barrier Beach and inlet system in the Town of Chatham and to develop corrective measures to improve coastal resiliency through mitigation of shoreline erosion, coastal flooding, habitat loss, and impacts to navigation.
- North Attleboro Ten Mile River Flood Risk Study: This bill authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study to identify, analyze, and set forth feasible measures that can protect this area in the town of North Attleboro from current and future flooding.
- Herring River Restoration Project Marsh Management Study: This bill expedites a feasibility study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of marsh management actions, including vegetation clearing and marsh drainage and fill, necessary for the full tidal restoration of the Herring River Estuary that will reclaim important ecological and economic benefits for the towns of Wellfleet and Truro.
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