December 13, 2023

Young Votes for Annual Defense Bill to Support Troops, Address Global Threats

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 87-13. The annual defense bill will set policy for the Department of Defense (DoD), establish the national security priorities of Congress, and give U.S. servicemembers a much-deserved pay raise. 

“The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress considers each year. I’m pleased the final 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,” said Senator Young.

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

DoD Audit Deadline, to require the DoD to conduct a full and clean audit within five 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 provisions, introduced by Senator Young and a group of Senate colleagues that would increase transparency around UAP and further open scientific research. Language in the NDAA 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. 

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 making good progress on combatting corruption, as well as a classified list of countries making limited or no effort to comply with standards for combatting corruption. Similar language was favorably reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this year. 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.

Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonics Test Bed (MACH-TB) Infrastructure, Senate Armed Services Committee 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 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 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 a study to manage vulnerabilities of emerging AI systems at DoD. It also establishes a “bug bounty” program for red-teaming efforts to identify flaws in large AI systems being integrated into our military. This amendment is just the start of our effort in Congress to address the risks and harness the potential of AI technology.