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Rubio Supports Senate Passage of 2019 National Defense Authorization Act

Jun 18, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019:
“One of the most important jobs of the federal government is to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need to defend our nation. The 2019 NDAA provides for our national defense, gives critical policy guidance to the Pentagon and continues to invest in restoring our nation’s military capabilities to the level required to confront the challenges ahead. It also ensures Florida’s many military bases have the construction authorities they need and approves a pay increase for our troops.
“Today’s vote also sends a clear message that Congress will protect the American people and our economy from the Chinese government’s efforts to use telecommunications companies for espionage and intellectual property theft. I urge Senate conferees and my colleagues in the House to keep the bipartisan ZTE provision in the final version of this bill.”
The legislation as passed includes the following key Rubio-sponsored amendments:

  • The reinstatement of penalties imposed on ZTE for violating Iran and North Korea sanctions, and the extension of the prohibition on certain Chinese telecommunication services and equipment to all executive agencies due to the counterintelligence threat they pose (Cotton-Van Hollen-Rubio-Schumer)
  • Allows a pilot program for testing machine-based inspections in place of humans to determine the authenticity and security of microelectronic parts in weapons systems – a necessary ability in an era of Chinese-made knockoffs and counterfeits
  • An annual report on differences in ship repair contracts and final delivery costs to ensure smaller shipyards, such as those at Naval Station Mayport and the Jacksonville-area, receive fair opportunities to compete for the maintenance of Navy vessels prior to the work being sent elsewhere. A steady and stable distribution of this work will ensure the industrial base performs efficiently
  • A plan from the Navy to allow increased public access to the National Naval Aviation Museum and Barrancas National Cemetery at Naval Air Station Pensacola
  • A report on accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Syria

The 2019 NDAA supports over $187 million in military construction for Florida:

  • Mayport LCS Support Facility $82,350,000
  • Mayport LCS Operational Training Facility Addition $29,110,000
  • NAS Whiting Field Air Traffic Control Tower (North Field) $10,000,000

Air Force

  • Eglin AFB F–35A Student Dormitory II $28,000,000
  • Eglin AFB F–35A Integrated Training Center Academics Building $34,863,000
  • MacDill AFB KC135 Beddown Add Flight Simulator Training $3,100,000