NDAA Helps Marianas

Jul 27, 2020
The annual National Defense Authorization has never failed to be enacted over half a century. So, this must-pass bill is one of the best opportunities to piggyback legislation that may not be directly defense related. Proving the point, House members offered 741 amendments when the bill hit the floor this week. Here is how I used the NDAA for the Marianas:
NMI Small Biz Act clears House, Senate
Businesses in the Marianas will have more access to Small Business Administration programs under terms of my Small Business Development Act, which both the House and Senate included in their versions of the National Defense Authorization Act this week. My bill makes the Marianas eligible for grant funding to establish an SBDC Lead Center and provides technical assistance to small businesses interested in seed funding from the SBIR and STTR programs. The House and Senate now go to a conference committee to resolve differences before final passage. Provisions like mine that are in both bills are not subject to removal.
NMI STEM, Career Ed Act closer to law                                   
Two of my bills - one expanding STEM education in the Marianas and the other helping for military spouses' career training - took another step toward enactment this week. H.R. 6786 includes the Marianas in the Defense Department’s STARBASE education program. STARBASE aims to improve students’ skills in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) by partnering military installations with schools having a high proportion of economically and educationally disadvantaged students. My second bill, the Military Spouse Career Education Act, will help wives and husbands of service members finish their college degrees more quickly and get training needed to re-license in their professions, when they must move to a new location under military orders. The House and Senate both approved both measures as part of their annual defense bills. The National Defense Authorization Acts in the House (H.R. 6395) and Senate (S. 4049) now go to a conference committee.