Washington, D.C. – Led by Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Ranking Member Jim Langevin (D-RI), the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Subcommittee for Emerging Threats and Capabilities (ETC) today passed its proposal for the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The ETC Subcommittee mark will now be included in the full NDAA that will be considered by the House Armed Services Committee in May.

“I thank Ranking Member Langevin and my colleagues on the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee for all their work to pass this critical, bipartisan legislation out of our Subcommittee today,” said Chairwoman Stefanik. “Our Subcommittee is responsible for many vital national security interests, and this mark includes many recommendations and initiatives to advance emerging technologies, strengthen our cyber warfare capabilities, protect our critical infrastructure, and bolster our counterterrorism operations, among other measures. I look forward to introducing and discussing our Subcommittee mark before the full House Armed Services Committee and seeing it passed by the House and signed into law by the President.”

The ETC proposal is a vital part of the NDAA through which the Committee conducts oversight of defense-wide science and technology, cyber operations and programs, strategic communications and information operations, counterterrorism programs and policy, special operations forces, related Intelligence programs and activities, countering weapons of mass destruction, homeland defense, and consequence management.

Specifically, the ETC proposal:

Supports defense innovation, emerging technologies, and advances in Artificial Intelligence:

  • Places emphasis on policy and programs to advance Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing, and other technologies of national security consequence;
  • Fully supports innovation efforts of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) to ensure technological superiority and overmatch for our warfighters against current and future threats;
  • Advances hypersonic and directed energy weapons research, development, and transition efforts within DoD;
  • Recommends to the Full Committee additional funds to accelerate Artificial Intelligence, and machine learning programs, as well as directed energy, and hypersonics programs.

Strengthens cyber warfare capabilities and enhances congressional oversight:

  • Prioritizes the readiness of U.S. Cyber Command, cyber mission forces, and cyber warfare tools and capabilities, including initiatives to strengthen the cyber workforce;
  • Provides a pilot-authority to improve coordination between DOD and the Department of Homeland Security, to strengthen defense of critical infrastructure and networks;
  • Enhances resiliency of DOD networks, weapons systems, supply chains, and capabilities;
  • Strengthens congressional oversight of sensitive cyber military operations and cyber warfare tools and capabilities;
  • Bolsters international partnerships for cyber warfare and influence operations to counter aggression, cyber, and information warfare threats.

Reinforces counterterrorism and unconventional warfare capabilities:

  • Authorizes U.S. Special Operations Command programs and activities, including ongoing efforts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Eastern Europe;
  • Extends critical authorities for special operations and personnel recovery programs;
  • Improves congressional oversight of ongoing counterterrorism and sensitive activities;
  • Fully authorizes and strengthens Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) programs and activities, including the creation of a Principal Advisor for CWMD to more effectively oversee policies and activities within the Department.