Allred Secures Amendments Increasing Research Funds in Defense Authorization Bill
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), today voted for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (NDAA) which included two Allred led amendments that will help bring research investment to Texas universities. The bill authorizes funding for the United States military’s operations, programs and personnel.
“This bill will help ensure our troops and military operations have the resources they need to protect our nation,” said Allred. “In addition to a much-needed pay raise for our troops, I am pleased we were able to secure amendments which will help bring critical research investment to Texas universities on infrastructure and medical research on brain injuries. These funds could help universities in Texas lead the way on innovative research that bolsters our national security and helps keep our troops safe.”
“In this era, where partisanship is the norm, the Democratic members of the Armed Services Committee have worked diligently to preserve our Committee’s long-standing tradition of bipartisanship, and the FY20 NDAA is a reflection of that tradition,” said House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith. “While this year’s NDAA contains bipartisan provisions, our new Democratic majority has had an undeniable impact on the contents of this bill. Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Allred and other members of our excellent freshman class, the bill passed today reflects our Democratic values, supports our troops, and provides for a strong national defense enterprise.”
Allred Amendments Adopted:
- Allred Amendment #55 increases funding by $5 million for basic operational medical research science. The amount is to be made available for partnering with universities to research brain injuries. This funding is a priority for the University of Texas at Dallas.
- In 2017, there were 17,000 to 18,000 traumatic brain injury diagnosis and there have been a total of nearly 400,000 brain injury diagnosis since 2000.
- Allred Amendment #56 increases funding by $5 million for university research initiatives. Studying ways to increase the longevity and resilience of infrastructure on military bases. This funding is a priority of Texas A&M University, which has a center that studies infrastructure resiliency.
- This amendment would protect the taxpayer’s investment by allowing the DoD to study ways to prolong the life of military infrastructure. In 2018, the DoD rated 23% of its infrastructure as poor and 9% as failing.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 includes the following priorities:
- Gives our servicemembers a pay raise of 3.1 percent, the same as requested by the President.
- Numerous provisions to take care of military families, improve military housing and clean up contaminated drinking water at military bases;
- Provisions to promote diversity and inclusion in the military;
- Prohibiting any funding in the bill to be used for the construction of a wall, barrier or fence along the southern land border;
- Protects children at the border by prohibiting DOD funds to house unaccompanied children forcibly separated from their parent or legal guardian by CBP within 100 miles of the border of the United States;
- Requires DOD briefings to Congress on Russian election interference and requires DOD to issue a strategy on countering Russian election interference in the 2020 elections;
- Requires DOD to take a number of steps to both address climate change and fund mitigation activities;
- Takes steps to accelerate the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.