Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014by Former Representative Howard P. "Buck" McKeon
Posted on 2013-12-12
McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from
Texas (Mr. Thornberry), my friend and colleague, the vice chairman of
the Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Intelligence, Emerging
Threats, and Capabilities Subcommittee.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First, let me commend the chairman and ranking member of the committee and the staff for getting us to this point.
In all the 52 years of the National Defense Authorization Act, I think this has been one of the most challenging years to get a bill actually passed. Not only have they done that, or are about to do that, get us to this point, but it is a good bill with many significant provisions that enhance our national security.
Among those provisions are those under the purview of the Intelligence, Emerging Threats, and Capabilities Subcommittee that authorizes more than $85 billion worth of critical national security activities and programs to include cybersecurity and operations, combating weapons of mass destruction, combating terrorism, defense intelligence, and Special Operations Forces, science and technology, and research, and a host of areas.
I want to express my appreciation especially to the subcommittee staff for the work they have done on it.
But as we look ahead to the threats and also the capabilities that are coming before us in the future, we also [[Page H8038]] have to update our oversight mechanisms here in Congress.
In this bill, there are provisions known as the Oversight of Sensitive Military Operations Act, which is a big advance to make sure that we can conduct the proper oversight, even as activities are conducted by various weapon systems, even as they happen all around the world.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate what the chairman and ranking member have said: this bill, combined with the budget agreement, doesn't solve all our problems in defense, but they provide absolutely needed stability so that we can return to a way where military leaders and private sector leaders can plan for a change. We have not been in that situation in recent years.
So passing this bill and passing the budget bill are significant advances for our country's national security. I hope all my colleagues will agree.