Nebraska senators help pass National Defense Authorization Act

United States Capitol (Photo: Diego Delso / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Nebraska’s senators have released statements after the Senate passed the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

The vote was 89 to 8 Monday.

Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it includes several pieces of Sasse’s cybersecurity and data transparency legislation.

"Cyber war isn’t science fiction – it’s happening right now but Washington still isn’t taking it seriously," said Sasse. "We have a long way to go but I’m encouraged that this year’s defense bill includes these modest steps toward a serious cyber doctrine and an agile talent pipeline. We’re not operating in a vacuum and, while our adversaries build and develop, we need to make sure our military addresses cybersecurity with the urgency it demands."

"For more than a year, I’ve worked with Senator Schatz to drag Washington into the 21st century when it comes to data," continued Sasse. "Our OPEN Government Data Act is simple: government data should be made public unless an administration can make a compelling reason to keep it under wraps. This legislation passed the Senate last Congress and, with tonight’s passage, I’m glad to carry the momentum forward."

Senator Deb Fischer released this statement Monday:

“Whether answering the threats from turbulent regions of the world or providing help here at home, our military has a tough job to do. The bipartisan vote in the Senate today proves this legislation is a strong product that will provide our men and women in uniform with the resources they count on to carry out their missions. The Senate’s FY 18 NDAA contains provisions to improve our military’s readiness, strengthen missile defense, and stay ahead of the challenges of tomorrow, all of which are critical to keeping the American people safe and secure.”

Fischer identified the following as key provisions:

  • Authorizes over $30 billion to address unmet requirements identified by the military services and our combatant commanders, and provides additional resources to address emerging threats.
  • Increases the size of the active-duty force above President Trump’s request by 6,000.
  • Authorizes more than $500 million in additional funding to support the Department of Defense’s Third Offset Strategy and improve U.S. military technological superiority, including:
  • Nearly $300 million to enhance the development of hypersonic – and directed –energy weapons. These were two key areas of focus when Senator Fischer chaired the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee last Congress.
  • Adds more than $700 million for cyber-related requirements.

Senator Fischer said the Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which she cahirs, provided these provisions:

  • Adds an additional $200 million to improve the Ground-based Midcourse Defense – or GMD – system, including.
  • Adds over $700 to address unfunded needs to space operations, including more than $100 million to expand the development and testing of advanced prototypes in response to the urgent operational needs of our warfighters, and an additional $35 million to expedite the development of advanced, jam-resistant, GPS receivers.
  • Fully supports ongoing efforts to modernize our nuclear forces and the Department of Energy’s nuclear enterprise.
  • Provides nearly $200 million additional funding to help address the backlog of deferred maintenance activities at our nuclear facilities. More than half of these facilities are over 40 years old, and roughly 30% date back to the era of the Manhattan Project.
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