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House Adopts Three Connolly Amendments to the FY19 NDAA

Today, the House adopted three amendments offered by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) to the FY 19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Connolly’s amendments addressed North Korea reporting requirements related to family reunification, Korean War POW remains recovery efforts; procurement reform; and increased funding for security cooperation monitoring programs. The NDAA passed the House on a vote of 351-61.

North Korea Reporting Amendment: Connolly’s amendment requires a report on Korean War POW remains recovery efforts, family reunification activities, and travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea. Connolly currently serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea.

“While the President continues to send mixed signals that threaten to further destabilize the Korean peninsula, we cannot lose sight of America’s responsibility to the families of fallen POWs, and Korean families that remain separated,” Connolly said. “This amendment will help heal broken wounds and bring these families together.”

Connolly’s full statement for the record is available here.

Procurement Administrative Lead Time (PALT) Amendment: Connolly’s amendment requires civilian agencies to define and track procurement administrative lead time. Connolly offered a similar successful amendment to the FY18 NDAA.

“This amendment is an important step toward greater efficiency and accountability in the federal procurement process,” Connolly said. “Given the number and costs of contracts and task orders issued by the federal government, it is important that the federal agencies collect information on the amount of time between when a solicitation is issued and the initial award of the contract or task order. By establishing a uniform definition and collecting this data, Congressional overseers, the contracting community, and other stakeholders can better analyze the data and use it as a tool to reduce unnecessary delays and save taxpayer dollars.”

The amendment was supported by the Professional Services Council, which said, “ Uniformly defining (PALT), consistently capturing that data, and publicly reporting those data will significantly benefit all agencies and stakeholders, particularly if it becomes the basis of structured efforts to reduce PALT.”

Connolly’s full statement for the record is available here.

Security Cooperation Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation Amendment: Connolly’s amendment, offered with Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), provides a minimum of $12 million for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency to conduct assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of security cooperation programs.

“Each year, the United States spends as much as $10 billion on our security cooperation programs. This includes the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, the Counter-ISIL Fund, the cooperative threat reduction program, and other security programs that help build the capacity of foreign security forces,” Connolly said. “The United States trains, educates, advises, and equips our foreign partners all around the world. However, we have done next to nothing to understand the effectiveness of these programs at accomplishing their goals and advancing U.S. interests. I commend the Department of Defense for its work to establish an office tasked with creating a monitoring and evaluation framework for security cooperation programs and conducting evaluations.”

Connolly’s full statement for the record is available here.

Since coming to Congress, Connolly has had more than 30 amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act adopted in the House, including the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which was enacted in law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014.

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