Casey Amendments Pass Senate in Crucial Defense Bill

Washington, DC — U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that several of his amendments have been successfully adopted to and passed within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Senator Casey’s amendments would benefit small business owners competing with China, veterans and their spouses, and women and girls in Afghanistan.

“We need to be smart about how we address our national security challenges,” said Senator Casey. “I am gratified that the Senate came together in a bipartisan fashion to include my amendments and pass the National Defense Authorization Act to ensure the safety and security of our nation.”

  • Amendment 2997: Transition Assistance Advisor. The Transition Assistant Advisors Program seeks to codify and increase the numbers of Transition Assistant Advisors (TAAs) in every state.  Transition Assistance Advisors (TAA) coordinate resources for reserve component members and their families to help these individuals navigate the myriad of service programs provided by the VA, TRICARE, Veterans Service Organization and other supporting agencies. TAAs enhance the National Guard Bureau’s outreach capabilities and serve as a vital link between service members and the benefits to which they are entitled.  This bipartisan amendment includes 1) a minimum requirement of at least one TAA in every state, 2) during contingency operations, the National Guard Bureau would be required to have at least one TAA for every 1,500 Guard members in a state, 3) during peace time, the National Guard Bureau would be required to have at least one TAA for every 5,000 Guard members in a state.

This bipartisan amendment is cosponsored by Senators Begich, Coons, Gillibrand, Graham, Blumenthal, Leahy, Mikulski, Tester, and Wyden.

  • Amendment 2952: Protecting the 911th. Senator Casey cosponsored an amendment introduced by Senator Begich which would ensure that the Congress is apprised of any substantial reductions at military installations and has time to prevent any “back-door BRACs.”  This amendment would help to protect installations like the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station (ARS), home of the  911th Airlift Wing.
  • Amendment 2994: Rare Earths Phosphors. This amendment will require the Department of Defense to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the feasibility of recycling heavy rare earth elements from fluorescent lighting waste.  With China controlling 95 percent of the world supply of rare earth elements, the United States must look at methods, including the recycling of products, to increase our domestic supply of rare earths.

This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Begich and Franken

  • Amendment 2986: Sub-contractor Notifications. This amendment will promote transparency and accountability in the federal contracting.  It would require that subcontractors be made aware of their inclusion on federal bids and establish a system to report fraudulent procurement practices.  As it stands, some big companies are listing small businesses, especially women and minority owned, on applications without the intention of giving them the work. 

This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Enzi and McCaskill.

  • Amendment 3193: Promoting the Security of Afghan Women and Girls. This bipartisan legislation will require the Department of Defense to produce a plan to promote the security of Afghan women and girls during the transition process, including monitoring and responding to changes in women’s security; improving gender sensitivity and responsiveness among Afghan National Security Forces personnel; and increasing recruitment and retention of women in the Afghan National Security Forces.  It will also require the Department of Defense to report on the implementation of this plan and its results in its semi-annual reports on progress toward security and stability in Afghanistan.

This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Hutchison, Boxer, Cardin, Coons, Feinstein, Franken, Gillibrand, Lautenberg, Murkowski, Mikulski, and Snowe.

Senator Casey also co-sponsored the following successful amendments to NDAA: the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2012, the Whistleblower Protections for Non-Defense Contractors, the Report on Establishment of Joint Armed Forces Historical Storage and Preservation Facility, the Study on Bradley Fighting Vehicle Industrial Base, the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012, the Report on Implementation by Bahrain of Recommendations in Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, the Memorial to Slaves and Free Black Persons Who Served in the American Revolution, and the Report on Simulated Tactical Flight Training in a Sustained Gravity Environment.

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