Hurd Supports Funding for National Defense, Intelligence Operations
by Will Hurd on December 13, 2019 at 11:51 AM
Recently, I joined my colleagues to support the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report, which includes the Damon Paul Nelson and Matthew Young Pollard Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA). As someone who spent nearly a decade as an undercover CIA officer and served alongside our men and women in uniform, I was proud to support funding vital for our military and our intelligence community as they work tirelessly to keep Americans safe at home and overseas.
The brave men and women of our military and our intelligence community have been responsible for many of the most important national security victories in American history. This bipartisan conference report improves our military readiness and intelligence collection capabilities and sends a message to both our allies and our adversaries that the United States stands ready to face any threats that come our way in today’s dangerous world.
The NDAA ensures we keep the promises we made to those who serve in our nation’s military by providing:
- Resources to continue to rebuild readiness, advance modernization of the nuclear triad, develop emerging technologies, enhance missile defense, and confront our adversaries;
- A 3.1% pay-raise for our troops, the largest increase in a decade;
- An additional $5.3 billion in emergency funding for military installations damaged by natural disasters; and,
- Up to 12 weeks of Paid Parental Leave for the Defense Department, Intelligence Community and across the federal government.
The NDAA also includes several local wins for Joint Base San Antonio, including:
- Authorizing $243.3 million in funding for 5 critical military construction projects at Joint Base San Antonio.
- Requiring important reforms to the military housing program to ensure servicemembers have access to safe and adequate housing:
- Mandating that the services to establish a Tenant Bill of Rights with minimum acceptable livability standards.
- Increasing transparency for families by requiring disclosure of major repairs/remediation prior to lease signing.
- Requiring the Department to establish a standardized assessment tool to be used in evaluating military housing for certain risks, including lead and mold.
- Supporting military spouses by doubling the reimbursement amount for state license expenses and helping establish agreements for license portability across state lines.
Included in the IAA is my bipartisan bill to make dismantling drug smuggling networks a national intelligence priority along with several other important initiatives, such as:
- Authorizing funding for the intelligence community to continue to protect our nation for Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 and 2020;
- Prioritizing intelligence collection and analytic capabilities against China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, while sustaining support for counterterrorism and counterproliferation efforts;
- Defending against foreign threats to elections by:
- Requiring the FBI to notify the intelligence committees quarterly when the Bureau opens a counterintelligence investigation into a candidate or campaign for Federal office;
- Requiring the Director of National Intelligence to electronically publish an unclassified advisory report on foreign counterintelligence and cybersecurity threats to election campaigns for federal offices;
- Providing additional support to Hurd’s former colleagues in the CIA by:
- Authorizing enhanced injury benefits to CIA employees injured overseas due to hostile acts or terrorist activities;
- Closing loopholes that prevent survivors of certain CIA officers killed while stationed abroad from receiving death benefits; and
- Requiring the CIA to brief Congress on whether CIA officers injured in the line of duty could benefit from VA or Department of Defense health care services.
- Combatting Russian aggression by requiring intelligence assessments on the intentions of Russia’s leadership with respect to potential military action against members of NATO, U.S. support for NATO and additional lethal military assistance to Ukraine or Georgia;
- Improving retention and recruitment of personnel for critical cyber missions by providing increased pay for certain employees with unique cyber skills; and
- Protecting critical energy infrastructure by creating an Energy Infrastructure Security Center within the Department of Energy.