Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement after the House of Representatives adopted all five of his amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act
(NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020:
“I am pleased that the House of Representatives voted to adopt all five of my amendments to the NDAA for the coming fiscal year. My amendments will increase transparency and oversight of contracting practices within the Department of Defense (DoD), improve communication between servicemembers and the Department following their separation or retirement from active duty, and express the sense of Congress on a vital economic and national security partnership in the western pacific. These measures are important to both Florida and our nation,” said Hastings.
Hastings Amendment #178
increases DoD’s ability to monitor how much Independent Research and Development (IR&D) is spent by contractors. The amendment requires DoD contractors to submit total IR&D spending to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) and adds new reporting requirements regarding the extent to which those IR&D projects align with the modernization priorities in the National Defense Strategy, information on fluctuations in spending, and issues related to ownership of intellectual property rights resulting from IR&D projects.
Hastings Amendment #179
establishes a time and money saving method for contractors to provide Bid & Proposal (B&P) costs to the DoD. This requirement is necessary for ensuring that B&P costs paid by the DoD do not exceed one percent of the total annually awarded DoD contracts, and for DoD to report total B&P costs to Congress, both required by law.
Hastings Amendment #180
repeals the statutory requirement for the DoD to manage a Defense Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB), which is duplicative of an existing CASB under the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Elimination of the duplicative CASB will streamline the regulatory framework and reduce the risk of overlap, conflicts, and legal challenges.
Hastings Amendment #181
expresses the sense of Congress that the United States has strong and enduring interests in the security and prosperity of Oceania and the Western Pacific region, and that the United States should expeditiously begin negotiations on the renewal of the Compacts of Free Association (COFA). The COFA agreements with the nations of Palau, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, provide economic benefits to these nations and valuable military access for the United States, but expire in 2023 and 2024. The amendment was cosponsored by Representatives Ed Case (D-HI), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Michael San Nicolas (D-GU), and Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS).
Hastings Amendment #182
establishes a joint Military Transition Outreach Pilot Program for contacting service members 30, 60, and 90 days post-separation and/or retirement from active duty. This amendment pilots a means for improving communication between veterans and DoD related to benefits and other general concerns after the service member’s separation. During this critical time of transition, many people fall through the cracks, and many more have concerns or questions that they cannot easily get answered. The pilot program created by this amendment will help to close these communication gaps.
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.