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December 05, 2016

Aguilar Provisions in National Defense Bill Pass House of Representatives

On Friday, the United States House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, the annual defense policy bill that directs the United States’ defense programs for the fiscal year. This year’s bill includes a pay raise for service members, provides the Department of Defense (DOD) with the necessary tools to resolve the California National Guard bonus reimbursement issue, and authorizes funds for the US military to combat and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The NDAA also includes two critical measures authored by Rep. Pete Aguilar: the establishment of a pilot program to expedite the process for individuals in the cybersecurity field to become officers in the United States Armed Forces; and a change to make it easier for the DOD to compete for and hire experts in the fields of science and engineering.

“With all that our nation faces at home and abroad, we need to have the most advanced and well-trained workforce to execute our defense programs,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “Increasing our cybersecurity programs and empowering young people with opportunities to acquire the necessary skill sets to take on that fight is paramount to strengthening our national security.”

During the vote on the NDAA, Rep. Aguilar was with his community in San Bernardino for the first anniversary of the Inland Regional Center terrorist attack that killed 14 and seriously injured 22. Had he been present, he would have voted in favor of the legislation, which passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 375 to 34. His statement in the Congressional Record can be read online here.

The bill will now go before the United States Senate for debate and further action. Last year, four of Rep. Aguilar’s amendments were added to the NDAA for FY 2016, which passed the House of Representatives. Rep. Aguilar serves on the House Armed Services Committee and the Subcommittees on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and Strategic Forces.