Congressman Seth Moulton Celebrates Legislative Victories In National Defense Authorization Act

Below is a press release from Congressman Seth Moulton’s Office:

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets the funding levels, expenditures and authorizations for the Department of Defense.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is one of the few truly bipartisan accomplishments by Congress every year. This year’s spending package makes America more secure and it invests more in our greatest asset: our men and women in uniform,” said Congressman Moulton. “The bill is not perfect, of course, but I voted for the NDAA to make sure we continue to sufficiently support the patriotic men and women in our armed services.

“After many hours of debate over more than 600 amendments, I’m proud to have 21 of my provisions included in the House-passed version of the NDAA. These measures will support better mental health resources for our military, expand investment in force modernization, and ensure that the U.S. is operationalizing valuable lessons learned from the war in Ukraine.”

This year’s bill includes a number of initiatives Congressman Moulton championed as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. They include:

  • Increased Funding for Artificial Intelligence 
    Increases funding for artificial intelligence development, testing, validation, and digital literacy programs across the Department of Defense.
  • Establishing a Joint Information Operations Course
    Requires the secretaries of the military services and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Irregular Warfare to provide a brief on their abilities to established tailored Cyberspace Operations Organizations utilizing the authority provided under FY21 NDAA.
  • Expanding the Special Immigrant Visa program
    Establishes a permanent Special Immigrant Visa program for individuals employed by, or on behalf of, the United States Government in eligible theaters of combat operations; permits the Secretary of State to designate countries with theaters of combat operations for eligibility.
  • Ukraine Lessons Learned Report
    Requires a report of lessons learned from the Russia-Ukraine War to include an analysis of the capabilities, tactics, and techniques used by both parties.
  • Reducing Uniform Costs for Service Members
    Establishes a uniform allowance for Department of Defense Officers and requires the Department to begin tracking uniform costs for both Officers and Enlisted service members for the purposes of tracking out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Improving Extremist Separation Training
    Service members are especially vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups at the transition stage, where they are finding new employment, moving, and losing a lifelong built-in support system, structure, and sense of purpose. This amendment would improve the current transition assistance program to address those who already have documented violations of DoD’s internal extremism policy.
  • Mental Health Initiatives, including:
    Adverse Childhood Events Screening Report Language: Childhood trauma is not something that goes away. Extensive research tells us that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are among the most significant risk factors for suicide, future mental and physical health crises, substance use disorder and domestic violence. This amendment requests report language to better understand the prevalence of Adverse Childhood Events among servicemembers and the correlation with these events on both being a victim of trauma and perpetrating trauma onto others.
  • Civilian Mental Health Providers Training: Directs the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, and the Department of Defense’s Uniformed Services University to develop a certification program for students to gain the knowledge and the clinical expertise necessary to develop mental health treatment plans catered to the unique challenges faced by Veterans, service members, military retirees, and families.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committee write the NDAA for their respective chambers of Congress. The House and Senate versions are then negotiated into a final bill which is sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

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