Senate-Passed Annual Defense Bill Includes Bennet-Backed Provisions to Invest in Colorado’s Military Infrastructure, Redevelop Pueblo Chemical Depot, and Support America’s Intelligence Community
Denver — Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), released the following statement after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) in an 86-11 vote:
“This bipartisan legislation includes important provisions to strengthen our national defense and support our service members and intelligence community – and it sends a loud message to the world that the United States will continue to stand with democracies against Putin's illegal and egregious invasion of Ukraine,” said Bennet.
The FY24 NDAA includes an additional $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, an additional $5 million for an ongoing study on the health effects of PFAS found near military installations, including near Peterson Space Force Base, and a 5.2% increase in pay for service members.
Bennet-backed provisions in the FY24 NDAA:
Promoting Utilization and Economic Benefits from Land Optimization (PUEBLO) Act: This legislation, introduced as a bill by Bennet and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) in June, will fully close the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Pueblo County, Colorado, and transfer the remaining parcel of land to the Pueblo community for economic redevelopment.
Intelligence Support for Combatting Uyghur Forced Labor in China: The Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2024, which was included in the NDAA, includes a Bennet-backed provision to establish an Intelligence Community (IC) atrocities coordinator on China, including for the purposes of sharing intelligence related to entities operating in the Uyghur region with the Treasury Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Task Force responsible for enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Act for the purposes of entity listings and sanctions.
Bolstering Intelligence Support for Export Controls: The IAA includes a provision backed by Bennet to strengthen intelligence support and sharing between the IC and the U.S. Department of Commerce, including for the purposes of strengthening export controls. The provision requires the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to embed detailees in the Bureau of Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce.
Strengthening AI Governance in the Intelligence Community: This provision in the IAA, led by SSCI Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and backed by Bennet, will strengthen the IC’s procurement, adoption, and integration of artificial intelligence by requiring the DNI to establish policies related to governance of artificial intelligence and machine learning systems developed, procured, and used by the IC.
Enhancing Workforce Recruitment: The IAA includes a provision led by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and co-sponsored by Bennet and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) to modernize workforce recruitment by prohibiting intelligence community agencies from denying a security clearance to individuals based solely on past use of cannabis.
FEND Off Fentanyl Act: This legislation, introduced as a bill by Bennet and Hickenlooper, would give the federal government the tools to combat the country’s fentanyl crisis by targeting opioid traffickers who are devastating communities across the United States and in Colorado.
Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act: This amendment, led by U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), is similar to Bennet’s Security and Oversight of International Landholdings (SOIL) Act to provide oversight and transparency over purchases of American agricultural land that threaten our national security.
National American Indian Charter Act: This legislation, led by Rounds and U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and co-sponsored by Bennet, creates a congressional charter for the National American Indian Veterans (NAIV), an organization that supports tens of thousands of veterans.
Expanding the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA): This amendment, led by Luján and U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and backed by Bennet, strengthens the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) that compensates individuals exposed to radiation during the Cold War era while working in uranium mines or living downwind from atomic weapons tests. Uranium miners in Colorado and individuals exposed in the state will now be eligible for compensation.
Advancing U.S. Leadership in the Western Hemisphere: This amendment, based on U.S. Senator James Risch (R-Idaho)’s Western Hemisphere Partnership Act, builds on the priorities of Bennet’s Americas Act by encouraging the Administration to bolster U.S. diplomatic, economic, and security relations with democratic countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Energy Resilience and Conservation Projects at Buckley Space Force Base: $14.7 million for critical electrical and water infrastructure investments at Buckley Space Force Base.
Aircraft Corrosion Control at Buckley Space Force Base: $12 million to the Colorado Air National Guard for corrosion control and base improvement.
Housing Improvements at the U.S. Air Force Academy: Over $9.2 million for housing improvements for staff and visiting dignitaries at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
National Guard Readiness Center at Peterson Space Force Base: $3 million to complete construction of medical facilities, classrooms, and administrative space for the Colorado Army National Guard Readiness Center (COARNG) at Peterson Space Force Base.