Washington, DC – The House today adopted two amendments to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) offered by Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy Reserve. These amendments will strengthen national security and bolster our military forces.   

“These amendments will enhance our military and protect our national security,” DeSantis said. “Tackling sexual assault within the military is important for ensuring strong unit cohesion and a capable fighting force, and the amendment passed will go a long way to ensuring that these prosecutions are handled by experienced counsel.  Preventing the Obama administration from granting additional concessions to the Cuban military is also important, as the beneficiaries in the change in Cuba policy have been the Castro brothers and Cuban military and intelligence services.  The U.S. shouldn’t be working with a Cuban military establishment that has been an instrument of anti-American and rogue activities.” 

The following amendments were adopted:

Justice for Victims of Military Sexual Assault

This amendment will help commanders in the Army and Air Force better ensure good order and discipline within the ranks – including better prosecution of sexual assault cases – by adopting limited, career litigation tracks that permit military judge advocates to fill Uniform Code of Military Justice-related billets for the bulk of their careers.  This amendment had previously been introduced as the Justice for Victims of Military Sexual Assault Act by DeSantis and Rep. Ryan Zinke (MT). You may find their op-ed in The Hill outlining the importance of establishing career tracks for JAGs here. 

Curbing the Cuban Military

Prohibits funds for any bilateral military-to-military contact, cooperation, or related security conferences between the Governments of the United States and Cuba until the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, certify to the appropriate congressional committees and Congress that the anti-American posture of the Castro regime has undergone a material change.