NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR ROY BLUNT (MO.)
Senator Blunt Introduces National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Amendments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) introduced a number of floor amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 this week. Blunt is currently one of three U.S. Senators to serve on both the defense appropriations and authorizing committees.
“Our men and women in uniform and their families make tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” Blunt said. “I hope the Senate will have the opportunity to vote on these important amendments as we move forward with this bill and work to give our Armed Forces the resources they need to meet their critical mission of defending our nation.”
Blunt introduced a number of amendments, including:
- Bannister Federal Complex, Kansas City, Mo. Land Transfer Amendment: Blunt’s amendment would authorize the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the General Services Agency (GSA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enter into an agreement regarding the conveyance of federal property located at Bannister Road in Kansas City, Mo. and allow for an eventual title transfer and redevelopment of the site.
- Amendment to Appoint a Special Envoy in Near East and South Central Asia: Blunt’s amendment would appoint a special envoy for the purpose of promoting religious freedom among religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. The envoy would hold the rank of ambassador and work in coordination with the Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom to monitor and combat acts of religious intolerance and incitement targeted against religious minorities in these regions. In addition to working with foreign governments and relevant multilateral organizations, the envoy would coordinate these efforts with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State.
- Small Business Contracting Amendment: Blunt’s amendment protects small businesses from overly burdensome regulations when they subcontract with the Department of Defense contracts by ensuring that the Small Business Act applies to all contracts awarded using a small businesses preference no matter which agency makes the award.
- Afghanistan Anti-Corruption Amendment: Blunt’s amendment would require the Defense Department and State Department to address in a meaningful way the lack of a comprehensive, measurable anti-corruption strategy in Afghanistan. Specifically, the amendment prohibits funds from being obligated or expended on new Request For Proposal agreements with the Afghanistan government or any third party in Afghanistan until the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense submit to the Senate Armed Services Committee a comprehensive, coordinated strategy for United States anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan, including goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes.
- Article 32 Reform Amendment: Introduced by Senators Blunt, Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), and Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), this amendment would reform Article 32 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to help prevent abusive questioning of victims of military sexual assault in a pre-trial setting, ensuring that victims who come forward to report sexual assault are not harassed or intimidated during pre-trial questioning.
- A-10 Warthog Amendment: Introduced by Senators Blunt and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), this amendment would limit the ability of the Air Force to retire the A-10 until the Air Force certifies that the F-35A achieves Full Operational Capability and exists in the fleet in sufficient quantity to replace the retiring A-10s. It also requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to confirm that the Air Force certification is comprehensive, fully supported, and sufficiently detailed. For more information on this amendment, please click here.
- Amendment to Remove Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan from Tier III Terrorist Organizations: Introduced by Senators Blunt and John McCain (Ariz.), this amendment would remove the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) from Tier III terrorist organizations. KDP and PUK have been classified by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as Tier III group terrorist organizations for U.S. immigration law purposes, which is contrary to the cooperative and friendly relationship between Kurdistan and the United States. Surprisingly, the Executive Branch does not have the authority to remove entities labeled as Tier III terror groups from that designation. Only Congress can grant a group exclusive relief as it did in 2008 when it acted to remove the African National Congress (ANC) from the list.
- Advanced Concept Ejection Seat for the B-2 at Whiteman Air Force Base Amendment:Introduced by Senators Blunt and Tom Udall (N.M.), this amendment directs the Air Force to complete the Advanced Concept Ejection Seat qualification on the B-2, which will benefit pilots at Whiteman Air Force Base.
- Urotrauma Amendment: Co-sponsored by Senators Blunt and Ben Cardin (Md.), this amendment directs the Department of Defense to address the prevention, care coordination, and research of urotrauma as a distinct entity.
Blunt also introduced or co-sponsored amendments that were included in the base bill and passed during the committee mark-up in June 2013. For more information, please click here.
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