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Murphy Secures Key Provisions for Country, Central Florida in Annual Defense Bill

Legislation supports military servicemembers and local small businesses that aid our national defense

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Washington, May 10, 2018 | comments

The House Armed Services Committee advanced the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets policy and authorizes funding for the U.S. military.  U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy of Winter Park, Fla., secured numerous provisions in the bill to support our nation’s servicemembers and small businesses in central Florida.  The House Armed Services Committee, on which Murphy serves, approved the bill early Thursday morning with strong bipartisan support. The full U.S. House of Representatives must now consider the bill.

“The United States has the most powerful military in the world, made up of brave Americans who risk their lives to defend liberty and protect this nation.  As someone who used to work in the Pentagon, I know how important it is that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to safely and effectively do their jobs,” said Murphy. “I’ve worked hard on the Armed Services Committee to ensure this bill supports our troops and veterans; combats emerging threats like cyber; and strengthens Orlando’s modeling, simulation, and training sector—all as part of a bipartisan effort to keep our country safe.”

In the bill, Murphy secured provisions to help departing servicemembers transition to civilian life; to enable more small businesses to obtain low-interest loans; to strengthen Orlando’s modeling, simulation, and training community and its cyber community; to protect Israel against rocket and missile threats; and to enhance the Department of Defense’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Helping Departing Servicemembers Transition to Civilian Life

The defense bill includes the core of H.R. 4954, the BATTLE of Servicemembers Act, a bipartisan bill that Murphy introduced in February and that is supported by numerous veterans services organizations.  The provision will make it easier for servicemembers who are departing the military to take targeted two-day workshops that prepare them to attend college, learn a trade, or start a small business.  Recently, a group of U.S. senators from both parties introduced Murphy’s bill in the U.S. Senate.

Increasing Access to Capital for Small Businesses

The defense bill includes the language of H.R. 2056, the Microloan Modernization Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill that Murphy introduced to help more aspiring and existing entrepreneurs obtain low-interest loans up to $50,000.  Murphy’s bill has already been approved by the House and a key provision in the bill became law after Murphy worked to include it in an appropriations bill.

Strengthening Orlando’s Modeling, Simulation, and Training and Cyber Community

  • Support for Team Orlando:  The defense bill includes comprehensive language authored by Murphy that recognizes that modeling and simulation is critical to national security.  The provision encourages military leaders to maximize the use of modeling and simulation, and requires a report from the Department of Defense on the benefits of this technology, in which Orlando is a world leader.
  • Persistent Cyber Training Environment:  The defense bill provides full funding for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE), a virtual training environment that enables America’s cyber warriors to hone their skills and prepare for operations in cyberspace.  The Army is running the PCTE program from Murphy’s central Florida district.  Full funding for this program will keep high-paying tech jobs in Orlando.
  • National Cyber Range:  The defense bill fully funds the National Cyber Range complex, located in Orlando, which trains U.S. military personnel to conduct cyber operations and protect national security assets from cyberattack.

Protecting Israel Against Missile Threats

The defense bill includes language drawn from H.R. 5126, the Deterring and Defeating Rocket and Missile Threats to Israel Act, a bipartisan bill that Murphy introduced in February to help deter attacks against Israel and to ensure that Israel can defend its citizens in the event its adversaries choose the path of war.

Enhancing the Department of Defense’s Efforts to Combat Opioids

The defense bill authorizes the National Guard Bureau to spend an additional $20 million to combat opioid trafficking.  In each of her first two years in Congress, Murphy has led a bipartisan effort to seek additional funding for the National Guard’s counterdrug program and has spearheaded various efforts to address the opioid epidemic.
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