CORRECTION: Rep. Susie Lee Advocates for Students in National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

July 22, 2020
Press Release

UPDATED, July 22, 2020: In the original press release dated July 20, 2020, the list of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendments that Rep. Lee co-led included “Amendment 702.” This amendment was incorrectly titled and inaccurately described. The correct amendment title is “Amendment 703” and its description should read as follows:

  • Amendment 703: This amendment would close the 90/10 loophole by making military education benefits (specifically, Department of Defense Tuition Assistance benefits) count as federal educational assistance funds.

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03) released a list of priorities for which she is advocating in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that would fund the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the NDAA’s final passage this week.   

In her list of priorities, Rep. Lee outlined Amendments 255 and 257 to the NDAA, which she led. These amendments would protect students, especially our students serving our country, from unscrupulous institutions of higher education. Amendment 255 would prohibit any institution of higher education, or other postsecondary educational institution, from using revenues derived from DOD education assistance funds for advertising, marketing, or recruiting. Amendment 257 would create a system for tracking complaints of suspicious activity—such as unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices—against institutions of higher education and student loan services. The latter amendment would also establish an office to keep track of complaints.

Rep. Lee first proposed these amendments as provisions in the Preventing Risky Operations from Threatening the Education and Career Trajectories of Students Act (PROTECT Students Act), which she introduced in June 2019.

“As a lifelong education advocate, I always find opportunities to fight for our students, especially our students serving our country,” said Rep. Lee. “This is why I led two NDAA amendments to protect our veteran students from unscrupulous colleges and universities. Too often, veterans with GI Bill assistance are targeted by unscrupulous schools trying to make a quick buck at their expense. My first amendment would protect DOD education assistance funds from being used by colleges and universities for advertising, marketing, and recruiting. DOD funds for education should help students in the classroom, not go to flashy PR campaigns. My second amendment would create a system and office for any student to report unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices by colleges, universities, and student loan servicers. I’m proud to continue the endless fight for our students as Congress considers the NDAA.”

BACKGROUND: The following is a full description of Rep. Lee’s priorities for the NDAA:

Amendments Led by Rep. Lee  

  • Amendment 255: This amendment would prohibit any institution of higher education, or other postsecondary educational institution, from using revenues derived from Department of Defense education assistance funds for advertising, marketing, or recruiting. This is from the PROTECT Students Act.  
  • Amendment 257: This amendment would create a system for tracking complaints of suspicious activity (such as unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts of practices) against institutions of higher education and student loan services. Additionally, the amendment would establish an office to keep track of complaints. This is from the PROTECT Students Act.  

Amendments Co-Led by Rep. Lee  

  • Amendment 342: This amendment would include additional requirements regarding the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). The amendment would also strengthen and renew the already existing memorandum of understanding between the Department of the Interior and the Air Force.  
  • Amendment 49: This amendment would establish a congressional approval process for future testing while enabling the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to sustain its central mission to maintain the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.  
  • Amendment 703: This amendment would close the 90/10 loophole by making military education benefits (specifically, Department of Defense Tuition Assistance benefits) count as federal educational assistance funds. 

Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic  

  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the creation of a Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund, directing $1 billion to efforts to proactively increase the country’s ability to prepare for and respond to future pandemics.  

Create a More Inclusive Military  

  • Diversity Requirements for DOD:  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing a requirement for the Secretary of Defense to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Council to help develop a strategy to be included in the National Defense Strategy that would increase diversity in the military mirroring the U.S. population.  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing a requirement for the Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the Military Services to establish goals for increasing women and people of color in the military services.   
  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing a requirement for the Department of Defense to identify, report on a process, and change the names of all military bases and infrastructure named for individuals who served in the Confederacy within one year and prohibits the public display of the Confederate flag on Department of Defense installations.  

Support Our Troops  

  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the authorization of support for a 3.0 percent military pay raise.  
  • Burn Pit Registry and Electronic Health Records:  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing a requirement for DOD and the VA to ensure that information from the Burn Pit Registry be incorporated into Electronic Health Records.  
  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing technical corrections to the Paid Parental Leave benefit provided through the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act to ensure that veterans inadvertently omitted from the legislation receive the paid parental leave benefit.  
  • Sexual Assault Prevention and Response:  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the inclusion of a pilot program for the military services academies creating a special prosecutor for special victim’s offenses committed by attendees.  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the coordination of Support for Survivors of Sexual Trauma by requiring the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs to jointly develop, implement, and maintain a standard of coordinated care for members of the Armed Forces who are survivors of sexual trauma.  

Promote American Values  

  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the prohibition of the use of Department of Defense funds to provide logistical support to the Saudi-led coalition for strikes in Yemen, and the prohibition of Department of Defense civilian, military, or contractor personnel from participating in hostilities against the Houthis without authorization from Congress.  
  • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the prevention of the use of DOD funds to reduce U.S. forces stationed in Germany and stationed in Europe below the levels present on June 10, 2020, unless 180 days in advance the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of staff certify that the reduction would not negatively impact U.S. and allied security, and provide Congress with assessments of the national security impacts, costs, and consequences for U.S. servicemembers and their families. She is also prioritizing the prevention of divestment of U.S. military infrastructure in Europe for five years if its use is foreseeable.   
  • Strengthen National Security Workforce:  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the establishment of a scholarship for service pilots under the Department's Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Education Program for students at Minority Institutions to diversify and strengthen the national security workforce.  
      • This would add $3 million to fund the pilot scholarship for service program for Minority Institutions under SMART.   
      • This would add $17 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Institutions.   
  • Nuclear Deterrence/Non-proliferation:  
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the mandate of early coordination between DOD and NNSA during the budget planning process related to nuclear weapon programs.   
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the requirement that NNSA must report on its unobligated and uncost balances as part of the President’s budget submission.   
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the update of program management controls on the nuclear warhead acquisition process.   
    • Rep. Lee is prioritizing the recommendation of funding increase for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.  

###