Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement on the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, which includes several of her bills and amendments that prioritize the needs of Nevada’s service members and encourages technological advancement in the state. Senator Cortez Masto worked closely with her colleagues to include five bills she led in the NDAA, as well as several others she supported.
“Nevada is home to thousands of service members and their families who dedicate their lives to serving our country. I am proud to support the NDAA and to fight hard to make sure our service members have every resource they need for training and in combat, as well as every bit of support they need when they return home. My amendments improve housing for service members and veterans, work to improve childcare, housing and other services for the RPA community, encourage the rapid and safe development of artificial intelligence technology, protect the US and Israel from Iranian threats in Syria, enhance our military readiness, and hold our leaders responsible for having a plan when they send our brave service members into harm’s way.”
The following are Senator Cortez Masto’s legislative initiatives that were included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019:
- Legislation requiring the president to report U.S. strategy in Syria: Holds the president accountable for developing a strategy to combat threats facing the United States, Israel, and other allies from the conflict in Syria.
- Legislation supporting Nevada’s RPA Community: Directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct an independent analysis on ways to more rapidly improve services and reduce stress for Nevada’s remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) members and their families.
- Bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of military housing: Improves housing on military bases by calling on the Department of Defense to increase oversight of privatized military housing projects.
- Bipartisan legislation to prepare U.S. for advances in artificial intelligence technology: Commissions a study on the future of the development of artificial intelligence and its implications for Department of Defense (DoD), which built on legislation Senator Cortez Masto introduced with Senator Ernst.
- Bipartisan amendment to strengthen resources at the Nevada Test and Training Range: Requires the Air Force to report to Congress on its plan to upgrade existing training systems at Air Force training ranges, including flight simulators. These upgrades will ensure pilots can train against the most advanced threats they might face in combat.
- Amendments to protect American companies, military bases and democratic institutions from foreign threats: Expands the authorities of Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to address gaps being exploited by U.S. adversaries to conduct espionage against military bases and companies in Nevada and across the country.
- Bipartisan amendment to improve cyber security scholarships for minority students: Requires the Department of Defense to ensure cyber security scholarships are available to students at minority serving institutions. Senator Cortez Masto joined Senator Warner in offering this amendment.
- Bipartisan amendment to enforce US sanctions against Chinese company ZTE: Restores penalties President Trump lifted on the Chinese company ZTE that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Senator Cortez Masto joined Senators Cotton and Van Hollen in offering this amendment.