Bennet Secured Key Provisions to Bolster American Leadership in Space, Close Gaps in National Security, Support Wildfire Prevention
Washington, D.C. — 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 U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) in an 83-11 vote:
“The NDAA includes key Colorado priorities from securing U.S. leadership in space and emerging technologies to fighting climate change and wildfires,” said Bennet. “As we witness attacks on democracy around the world, the NDAA also provides critical resources to support Ukraine, reinforce international alliances, and strengthen our global leadership. These investments will prepare the United States to face evolving threats both at home and abroad, and put Colorado at the forefront of leading our national security.”
The FY23 NDAA includes the FY23 Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA), 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. The bill also includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2022 to authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ water infrastructure projects, including the South Platte River and Tributaries Program to complete ecosystem restoration and flood risk management in Colorado’s Adams and Denver Counties. Bennet secured $350 million for this project in March 2022.
A full summary of the FY23 NDAA is available HERE.
Bennet-backed provisions in the FY23 NDAA:
FireGuard: This provision, led by Bennet and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), 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.
International Norms in Space: This provision in the FY23 Intelligence Authorization Act, 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 in the FY23 Intelligence Authorization Act, 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.
Increasing Homeownership for Servicemembers: This provision, led by Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and co-sponsored by Bennet, builds on their previous efforts to direct the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on barriers to home ownership for members of the Armed Forces.
Basic Allowance for Housing Calculation Improvement: This provision, led by Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and co-sponsored by Bennet, builds on their previous efforts to direct the Secretary of Defense to report on how to improve servicemembers’ basic allowance for housing.
The FY23 NDAA funding authorization for Colorado efforts:
Cheyenne Mountain Complex: $43.8 million for facilities restoration and modernization, and $6.1 million for procurement of electronics programs.
National Space Defense Center at Schriever Space Force Base: $2.8 million for operational system development.
Fort Carson: $14.2 million for construction of a Fire Station Support Building
Bennet-backed provisions in WRDA of 2022:
Ecosystem Restoration and Flood Risk Management: Establishes a public-private partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) and the City of Denver for more efficient ecosystem restoration and flood risk management along the South Platte River and Tributaries in Adams and Denver Counties, Colorado.
Combating the Spread of Invasive Mussels: Increases funding and extends authorities for the Corps to combat aquatic nuisance species, like invasive mussels. This legislation encourages better partnerships between the Corps and States and Federal agencies to address invasive species, envisioned in Bennet’s Stop the Spread of Invasive Mussels Act of 2022.
Advancing Environmental Justice: Establishes a Tribal and Economically Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Committee and increases pilot programs for small, rural, and economically disadvantaged communities.