December 14, 2023

Rep. Mike Levin Votes to Pass National Defense Bill with Priority Provisions

Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act Includes Rep. Levin’s Proposals

Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) voted to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes his proposals concerning military sexual assault, military transition, and military vehicle safety. The NDAA equips the armed services with necessary resources to strengthen our national security and improve servicemembers’ quality of life.

The FY 2024 NDAA incorporates Rep. Levin’s bills including:

  1. The Expanding Military Sexual Assault Data Collection Act to expand information collected on sexual assault in the military, including information on whether a servicemember may have been the victim of an assault due to their belonging or status in a group;
  2. The TIER Act to improve the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for servicemembers preparing for civilian life by providing clarity around disability and character of discharge when determining a servicemember’s appropriate risk level, or tier;
  3. And, the DRIVE SAFE Act to require a report on the feasibility and advisability of equipping all tactical vehicles of the Armed Forces with black box data recorders.

“The National Defense Authorization Act is fundamental to strengthening our national security and ensuring our military has the resources it needs to improve the lives of servicemembers and protect Americans,” said Rep. Levin. “I’m proud that the FY 2024 NDAA incorporates my bills focused on combatting military sexual assault, improving servicemembers’ transition to civilian life, and enhancing military vehicle safety. These provisions strengthen the NDAA and I look forward to it being signed into law by President Biden.”

Rep. Levin’s provisions included in the NDAA will tackle important issues that will make our military stronger, training operations safer, and improve servicemembers’ access to services in their transition to civilian life.

According to a Department of Defense (DoD) 2021 estimate, nearly 36,000 members of the armed forces experienced sexual assault. The Expanding Military Sexual Assault Data Collection Act, included in the NDAA, will help the DoD expand its understanding of military sexual assault through the collection of additional data which can be used to study the relationship between sexual assault and pertinent factors. This data collection will help the DoD and Congress improve the safety and wellbeing of servicemembers.

TAP has three pathways, or tiers, that help screen for potential risk to servicemembers during the transition process and the level of support they will need. Counselors assign each servicemember to a tier based on a number of factors, including rank, term of service, disability, health, military occupational specialty, educational and employment history, and more. Elements of the TIER Act in the NDAA will make changes to address confusion around servicemembers’ disability or character of discharge, which will help the military services best place servicemembers in the correct tier.

The DRIVE SAFE Act will require the Comptroller General of United States to conduct a study on the potential inclusion of black box data recorders in tactical vehicles of the Armed Forces. This bill was inspired by the death of servicemembers in training accidents, Lt. Hugh C. McDowell who in May 2019 died in a Light Armored Vehicle that rolled over in a training accident at Camp Pendleton.

The full text of the FY 2024 NDAA can be found here.

A summary from House Armed Services Democrats can be found here.