Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
Congress created the precursor for what became the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) when it passed the National Security Act of 1947 and later amended it in 1949. The law required the reorganization of our country’s military functions to provide more coordinated and effective direction, rather than our nation’s military functions continuing to operate under conflicting policies under separate departments. One of the most important responsibilities of Congress is to provide for this common defense. Through enactment of annual National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA), Congress meets its constitutional responsibility by supporting American servicemembers, allies and national security efforts.
With my support and the support of fellow U.S. Senator for Idaho Jim Risch, the Senate recently passed its version of the NDAA for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, S. 2226, by a vote of 86-11. This legislation backs Idaho’s women and men in uniform:
I also worked with Senator Risch to secure provisions important to Idaho, including legislation:
In addition to the previously mentioned RECA amendment, we were also successful in passing a number of other important amendments with substantial majorities. This includes an amendment based on legislation I co-sponsored that would prohibit China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from purchasing U.S. farmland and agricultural companies. The Senate-passed NDAA also included the Accelerating Deployment of Versatile, Advanced Nuclear for Clean Energy (ADVANCE) Act of 2023. I joined in introducing this legislation that would improve the nation’s nuclear infrastructure, secure America’s uranium supply chain, grow the economy, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and strengthen national security.
The differences between the Senate-passed bill and the version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives will now need to be worked out in conference negotiations between the two legislative bodies before enacted into law. We are on the right path to strengthening our country’s defense capabilities while backing military families.
DOD historians describe the DOD’s headquarters--the distinctive and well-known Pentagon--as a building, an institution and a symbol. “For most Americans, it is the embodiment of U.S. strength and authority, the nerve center of the military establishment, a rock of security.” I am proud to support Idaho’s military personnel and industries, and look forward to enactment of a final FY 2024 NDAA, that delivers the resources our armed forces need to meet our national security challenges and maintain our country as a “rock of security.”
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