Udall Calls on Senate to Move to the National Defense Authorization Act
Legislation Sets U.S. Military's Defense Policy, Budgets and Priorities
Mark Udall called on the U.S. Senate today to quickly take up and pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, calling it one of the most important bills of the lame duck session of Congress for Colorado and our nation. The NDAA establishes defense policy, budgets and priorities for the U.S. military.
“The National Defense Authorization Act is critically important for Colorado and our armed forces. The bill ensures that our military has the funding, equipment, and authorities necessary to defend our country,” Udall said. “There are a number of provisions in the bill that should be debated on the Senate floor, and I hope that we can move to the bill and quickly begin these important discussions.”
Udall, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has already amended the NDAA to improve how the military recruits cyber-defense experts and to study the cost and logistical requirements for cleaning up abandoned uranium mines, which often were used to mine materials to build nuclear warheads.
Udall also said he plans to work on the U.S. Senate floor to remove provisions from the NDAA that prohibit the military from testing and using alternative fuels that could make the military less reliant on foreign oil.
“Energy security and national security are inseparable, and our military is taking a necessary leadership role in developing and employing new technologies. I support DOD’s efforts to develop alternative energy sources that enhance our strategic capabilities and make our military less vulnerable to the rising cost of oil,” Udall said. “Some of my colleagues think that the status quo is acceptable and that we should discourage innovation and development of new energy technologies. I couldn’t disagree more, and I plan on bringing the debate to the Senate floor."
Earlier this month, Udall led a bipartisan letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) flagging concerns about provisions in the NDAA that would restrict the military’s development and use of alternative fuels. Thirty-eight senators signed the letter.