Five Schneider Amendments on Small Business, Veterans, Election Security, and Iran included in National Defense Authorization Act
This week, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5515, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, by a vote of 351-66. Five amendments offered by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) were included in the legislation.
“Every year, the National Defense Authorization Act sets forth important priorities for our military and national security,” said Schneider. “I am pleased that this year I could help strengthen the legislation through amendments to continue programs that help transitioning servicemembers receive entrepreneurship training and improve our efforts to turn federally-funded research into viable commercial products. I am also proud to have amendments included that address the threats posed to our national security by foreign election interference and growing Iranian regional influence. All of these amendments were passed with Republican support, and I hope the House can build on the bipartisan progress of the NDAA in the days ahead.”
Schneider offered a bipartisan amendment (no. 131) with Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA) to authorize the Boots to Business program which helps transitioning service members, their spouses, and veterans develop the skills necessary to start their own small business. This program currently runs as a collaboration between the Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development and the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program, and has successfully helped train more than 50,000 individuals to develop their own business plans.
Schneider also offered an amendment (no. 12) with Reps. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) to provide more flexibility for successful innovators to turn federally-funded research into viable commercial products by increasing the amount of SBIR and Tech Transfe funding they can use towards commercialization.
To address election security, Schneider offered an amendment (no.92) to require a report on Department of Defense (DoD) efforts to deter Russian and Chinese democratic interference.
Finally two amendments (no.72 and no.73) focused on U.S. efforts to counter Iranian regional influence were offered with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), including requiring a report on Iran’s support for proxy forces in Syria and Lebanon, including Hizballah, and an assessment of the threat posed to Israel and other U.S. regional allies.
All five amendments were ruled in order and included in the legislation that passed the House.