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July 21, 2020

Aguilar Amendments to Root Out White Nationalism in the Military, Enhance US Cyber Security Pass with National Defense Bill

Today, the House passed H.R. 6395 the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.The bill includes three amendments offered by Rep. Pete Aguilar. The first requires the Department of Defense to include information on all instances of white supremacist activity found within the military in an annual report to Congress. The second creates a permanent direct-commissioning program to allow cybersecurity professionals to be commissioned as military officers following a successful pilot program established by Rep. Aguilar in 2017. The third requires the Department of Defense to submit a report to Congress on the current state of the United States’ nuclear capabilities and threats.

 

“As foreign and domestic threats change, we must make sure our military is adapting and changing as well. That’s why I included these amendments to help rid our military of the nationwide rise of white nationalism, increase the strength of our cybersecurity force and allow Congress to conduct proper oversight of our nuclear defense program. I’m proud that my colleagues were supportive of these amendments, and I look forward to seeing this historic bill signed into law,” said Aguilar.

 

“At this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and in an increasingly divisive political climate, for the 60th consecutive year the Congress has proven that our constitutional obligation to ‘provide for the common defense’ is far more important than politics,” said Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “I am incredibly proud of the work that the House Armed Services Committee was able to accomplish this year, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and strongly believe the FY21 NDAA is an excellent piece of legislation that delivers for our military. Thanks to the work of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, the bill we passed today supports our troops, reflects our values, and provides for a strong national defense.”

 

In addition to the provisions offered by Rep. Aguilar, the bill authorizes $1 billion for a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, requires the Department of Defense to change the names of all military bases and infrastructure named for individuals who served in the Confederacy within one year and prohibits the public display of the Confederate flag on Department of Defense installations and provides a three-percent pay raise for military personnel. The bill is now pending before the Senate.