Bennet Secures Provisions in Upcoming National Defense Authorization Act

Bennet’s Provisions Would Bolster American Leadership in Space, Close Gaps in National Security, Support Wildfire Prevention

Denver — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), secured key provisions in the pending National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). The Senate plans to debate and pass the legislation when it returns in November. 

“The upcoming defense bill includes key Colorado priorities, from securing U.S. leadership in space and emerging technologies to fighting climate change and wildfires,” said Bennet. “These provisions will help prepare the United States to face evolving threats both at home and abroad, and I will continue my bipartisan work to secure them in the final bill.”

The Senate moved to include the FY23 Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) as part of the FY23 NDAA, which unanimously passed the Senate Intelligence Committee with bipartisan support in June. Bennet-backed provisions in the FY23 IAA close existing gaps in U.S. national security.

Bennet-backed provisions in the FY23 NDAA:

FireGuard: This provision, led by Bennet, builds on his previous efforts to extend the authorization for the Colorado National Guard’s FireGuard program until 2028. The program provides crucial detection and monitoring capabilities for wildfires across the country. 

Space Technology Research: This provision, led by Bennet and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), directs the Secretary of the Air Force and U.S Space Force Chief of Space Operations to strengthen partnerships with American universities to support space technology research and workforce training. Bennet also secured $20 million for university-led space technology development to support Space Force research in the current Senate defense appropriations bill. 

The bipartisan American Technology Leadership Act: Bennet introduced this legislation with U.S. Senators Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) to establish an Office of Global Competition Analysis (OGCA) to assess how the United States fares in key emerging technologies relative to other countries to inform policy and strengthen U.S. competitiveness. The OGCA would combine intelligence data with commercial data in order to determine U.S. leadership in emerging technologies critical to national and economic security.

International Norms in Space: This provision, led by Bennet and co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), highlights the importance of international norms in space. It requires the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the Secretaries of Defense, State, and Commerce, the Administrator of NASA, and other heads of intelligence agencies, to identify threats to U.S. interest in space that may be mitigated by international norms, rules, and principles and identify opportunities for the U.S. to influence these norms.

Global Food Instability Implications of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: This provision, led by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and co-sponsored by Bennet and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), requires the Intelligence Community to assess the implications of food insecurity -- and identify steps the U.S. can take to mitigate it -- following Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Specifically, it focuses on the potential for regional instability resulting from food insecurity.

Critical Ports and Related Infrastructure: This amendment, led by Bennet and co-sponsored by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), requires the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, to monitor Chinese government investments in ports and port-related infrastructure critical to American national security around the world, and prioritize threats for additional U.S. and partner focus.