July 28, 2023

Young Secures National Security Wins in Annual Defense Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young applauded Senate passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024, which passed the Senate 86-11. The annual defense bill will set policy for the Department of Defense (DoD), establish the national security priorities of Congress, give U.S. servicemembers a much-deserved pay raise, and help deter the Chinese Communist Party.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation the Senate considers each year. I’m pleased that the Senate-passed bill includes several critical priorities I’ve worked on, including greater DoD transparency, ensuring our warfighters are equipped with the world’s best capabilities, and supporting Indiana’s defense industrial base and workforce. This legislation also includes the Building Chips in America Act, my proposal to cut red tape and solidify our nation’s ability to onshore chip production as quickly as possible. It also includes my resolution affirming the importance of the U.S. digital economy and the need for greater U.S. leadership on digital trade negotiations with like-minded countries,” said Senator Young.

Senator Young worked to secure the following provisions in the Senate-passed NDAA: 

Building Chips in America Act, a microchip manufacturing permitting reform bill, introduced by Senators Young and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). This bipartisan legislation will maximize the impact of the CHIPS and Science Act enacted last year by streamlining federal environmental reviews for chip manufacturing projects. This will prevent construction delays for projects across the country. More about this legislation is available here.

DoD Audit Deadline, to require the DoD to conduct a full and clean audit within four years. The amendment would hold the Secretary of Defense accountable for any failure by DoD to complete a clean audit. As DoD undergoes an extensive, vital modernization, policymakers must be able to debate and consider the Department’s budgetary priorities in a transparent manner, with all the facts available.

Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act, legislation introduced by Senator Young and a group of Senate colleagues that would increase transparency around UAP and further open scientific research. This legislation would direct the National Archives and Records Administration to create a collection of records to be known as the UAP Records Collection and direct every government office to identify which records would fall into the collection. The UAP Records Collection would carry the presumption of immediate disclosure, which means that a review board would have to provide a reasoning for the documents to stay classified. More about this legislation is available here.

Combatting Global Corruption Act, authored by Senators Young and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), to require the State Department to publish each year a list of countries ranked according to the degree to which the governments are fulfilling the commitments they made to combat corruption. Similar language was favorably reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last Congress and again earlier this month. Global corruption is often at the root of conflict, humanitarian suffering, and political crises. In places like Burma, Syria, and Venezuela, corruption has undermined the rule of law and prevented humanitarian aid from reaching those in need. This bipartisan legislation provides tools that will help combat international corruption by standing with the world’s most vulnerable and holding those in power responsible for their actions.

A Sense of the Senate on the importance of Digital Trade and the Digital Economy, a resolution introduced by Senator Young to encourage greater U.S. leadership on digital trade negotiations with like-minded countries. As the U.S. is positioned to lead in the digital space, the resolution calls for American leadership on digital trade rules in order to secure 21st century opportunities for Hoosiers, small businesses, manufacturers, and domestic service industries. More about this legislation is available here.

Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonics Test Bed (MACH-TB) Infrastructure, bill report language authored by Senator Young in support of MACH-TB, which is led by Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC-Crane) in southern Indiana. The advancement of hypersonic weapons systems is a top priority for the DoD, and the ability to test them rapidly and affordably is the key to accelerating their development and delivery to our warfighters. Inclusion of this report language solidifies Crane’s role as the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Hypersonics and its national role in developing and integrating new hypersonic capabilities for both the Navy and the DoD as a whole.

DOD improvements related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), an amendment stemming from Senator Young’s bipartisan work on AI with Senators Schumer, Rounds, and Heinrich. This amendment includes two studies, one to manage vulnerabilities of emerging AI systems at DoD and the other on financial regulators’ ability to effectively regulate AI. It also establishes a “bug bounty” program for red-teaming efforts to identify flaws in large AI systems being integrated into our military base. This amendment is just the start of our effort in Congress to address the risks and harness the potential of AI technology.