House Passes Bipartisan FY2019 Defense Authorization Bill
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) voted for H.R. 5515, the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed by a vote of 351-66. The bill includes his bipartisan amendment passed by voice vote and cosponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (MO-2) to reaffirm the commitment of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The amendment applauds NATO’s continued efforts in combating terrorism and states NATO’s collective defense founding principle is a deterrent to external security threats.
The FY2019 NDAA spending levels conform to the new bipartisan budget caps established in the two-year Bipartisan Budget Agreement for FY 2018 and FY 2019 and contains provisions that support the needs of our military, including a 2.6% pay raise for servicemembers. In addition, it requires master plans to address climate and energy resiliency initiatives aimed at ensuring the ability to sustain mission-critical operations and provides $15 million above the budget request for the Energy Resiliency Conservation Investment Program. It also includes $6.3 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), which supports efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.
As founder and co-chair of the Congressional AI Caucus, Rep. Delaney is encouraged to see the inclusion of an additional $30 million to address Artificial Intelligence, and a requirement to establish an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Policy and Oversight Council to continuously improve research, innovation, policy, joint processes, and procedures that facilitate the development, acquisition, integration, advancement, and sustainment of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning throughout the Department of Defense. The bill also invests in cybersecurity needs.
“While this legislation certainly isn’t perfect, I’m glad we could come together and support our Armed Forces,” said Congressman Delaney. “Before partisan politics, our priority must be preserving our national security and investing in the readiness of our men and women in uniform. And as I’ve said before, the U.S. needs to do a better job preparing for AI and future technology and the provisions included in this bill are another step in the right direction.”