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Congressman Panetta Works on the House Armed Services Committee for Smarter Military Spending

On May 19, 2018, the House Armed Services Committee debated, amended, and passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA is the annual defense authorization bill. I proudly introduced numerous provisions to the bill to integrate advanced technologies into professional military education, enhance language and cultural skills, expand innovation and entrepreneurial education, and strengthen military readiness.

Strong Congressional oversight – focused on smarter military spending, clearly defined authorizations for the use of military force, and care for our military families – is the best way for Congress to support our troops and keep our country safe.

To improve military readiness, I introduced an amendment to allow qualified immigrants to enlist and patriotically serve in the U.S. military. Their strategically valuable language and cultural skills, and desire to serve, would improve readiness shortfalls. After honorably and patriotically serving the only country they’ve ever known, these individuals would be eligible to adjust their legal status.

 

Listen to my remarks, along with support by Congressman Donald Norcross and Congressman Tom Suozzi, by clicking on the picture below: 

 

 

The NDAA recognizes the importance of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program. MEP helps small and medium-sized businesses reduce costs, increase productivity, and enhance defense supply chains. Expanded cooperation between MEP and DOD will support our local manufacturers and enhance national security.

I successfully incorporated an amendment to explore expanding 'Hacking for Defense' in support of DOD innovation and entrepreneurial education opportunities. Hacking for Defense programs benefit overall professional education, including at Naval Postgraduate School, National Defense University, and Defense Acquisition University. Rapid and meaningful innovation can provide advanced solutions and remedy readiness shortfalls.

I successfully incorporated an amendment to determine how DOD can integrate new technologies – big data, AI, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, biotech – into professional military education. Leadership development is key to future success.

After 14.5 hours of deliberation that day, we passed this bipartisan bill out of committee. It will be voted on the House floor in the coming weeks.

Moving forward, I remain committed to maintaining the military installations on the Central Coast, promoting their educational training and technological innovation, and protecting their nearly 15,000 good paying jobs that impact the economy of our communities and the safety of our country.