5 Priorities I Secured In This Year’s Defense Bill
We are at an inflection point right now. Our country is combating a host of new threats to our national security, both at home and abroad. This year’s bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act was just signed into law — and it marks a big step in helping to ensure that we’re prepared for the challenges of tomorrow.
As part of this year’s historic bill, I secured five key priorities that will help strengthen our country’s defenses and the security of Granite Staters and people across the country:
- Combating Fentanyl Trafficking: Fentanyl that originates in countries like China is flooding into the U.S. and fueling our substance misuse crisis. I worked across the aisle with Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania to craft a bill that would help stop the influx of illegal fentanyl into the United States from drug traffickers outside the United States.
- Strengthening Cybersecurity: State and local governments are increasingly targets of malicious cyberattacks. I crafted a bipartisan amendment with Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas to ensure that the National Guard can help state and local governments and businesses improve their cybersecurity.
- Establishing a Global War on Terrorism Memorial: Our National Mall is a representation of our country’s history — the challenges we have faced and the sacrifices we have made for freedom. That’s why I worked with Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa to include in the defense bill a bipartisan amendment that will establish a memorial on the National Mall to those who have served in the Global War on Terrorism.
- Addressing Gender Inequities in the Military: Right now, women who serve our country often pay more for their uniforms than their male counterparts. This is a “pink tax” — and it has no place in our country. I worked with Senator Ernst again to right this wrong and address out-of-pocket expenses service members pay for uniforms.
- Promoting Innovative Technologies and Outcompeting China: We must stay at the forefront of innovation. That’s why I worked on a bill with Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota to encourage quantum research efforts that are critical to national security and economic growth. I was glad to see part of this bill included in this year’s defense bill.
I’m thrilled to see these initiatives included and — as a member of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee and Veterans’ Affairs Committee — I’ll continue working across the aisle to find commonsense solutions, support service members and veterans, and ensure that Americans stay safe, secure, and free.