Rosen Helps Advance Bipartisan National Defense Bill with Major Nevada Provisions, Pay Raise for Troops

Senator Rosen Once Again Prevents Authorization of Any Funding For  Defense Nuclear Waste Storage At Yucca Mountain

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced several major victories for Nevada that she helped secure in the bipartisan national defense bill that advanced out of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25 NDAA) contains three of Senator Rosen’s bipartisan bills, as well as nearly two dozen other amendments and provisions she championed. Senator Rosen once again prevented any funding from being authorized for storing defense nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. This legislation also authorizes increased funding for national defense, provides a 4.5% pay raise for our troops, and includes an additional pay raise for junior enlisted servicemembers. 

The package includes many Rosen-led victories, including provisions directly benefiting Nevada’s servicemembers and national security installations – such as funding for a small arms training range for the Nevada National Guard at Hawthorne Army Depot, which she secured; requiring a plan for providing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) the documentation needed to help veterans who served near nuclear testing to submit claims for the radiation exposure benefits they deserve; increasing land in Nevada for Tribal housing; expanding health care coverage for veterans’ families; and creating programs to strengthen collaboration with Israel, Taiwan, and other allies in the areas of space, artificial intelligence, and the defense industrial base.

“As the United States confronts growing threats from adversaries worldwide – like China, Russia, and Iran – I’m proud to have helped draft and advance a robust national defense package that includes several of my bipartisan provisions to deepen our alliances, enhance our military competitiveness, strengthen our cybersecurity, and bolster our technological advantage,” said Senator Rosen. “I worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this package included resources and funding for necessary projects at national security installations in Nevada, invested in our nation’s technological and cyber capabilities, and delivered a well-deserved pay raise for our troops, all while ensuring that not a single dollar went towards Yucca Mountain.”

Rosen-led bipartisan bills included in the FY25 NDAA:

  • Bipartisan Transpacific Allies Investing in Weapons to Advance National (TAIWAN) Security Act: Requires the Secretary of Defense to enhance defense industrial base cooperation between the U.S. and Taiwan in order to deepen U.S.-Taiwan defense ties, promote supply chain security, and help alleviate Taiwan’s readiness challenges in order to counter China’s growing military expansion. 
  • Bipartisan Five AIs Act: Directs the Secretary of Defense to establish a working group to develop and coordinate AI initiatives among U.S. partners and allies.
  • Bipartisan Space Technology and Regional Security (STARS) Act: Requires the Department of Defense to develop a strategy and data-sharing agreement to protect Israel and other allies and partners in the Middle East from hostile Iranian space activities. 

Other key Rosen-led provisions included in the FY25 NDAA include, among others:

  • No Funding for Yucca Mountain: Zero dollars authorized for defense nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain.
  • Improving Radiation Exposure Documentation for Veterans: Directs the Secretary of Defense to provide Congress with a plan to provide the VA with the documentation needed to help veterans who served near nuclear testing to submit claims for the radiation exposure benefits they deserve. Because their service records are redacted for national security purposes, many Cold War veterans currently do not have documentation to prove to the VA that they served near where nuclear weapons testing had occurred, which is needed in order to submit a claim for possible radiation exposure. This is particularly relevant to Nevada, where the majority of our nation’s explosive nuclear testing was conducted from 1951 to 1992.
  • Securing $18 million to build Nevada’s first certified small arms training range at Hawthorne Army Depot that Senator Rosen secured: This will mean that members of the Nevada National Guard and Reserves no longer will have to travel out of state in order to fulfill their annual weapons qualification, at an average cost of $500,000 a year, per unit.
  • Acquiring Land for Fallon Range Training Complex: Allocates $48.3 million to pay ranchers for their permits on the land as part of the Fallon Range Training Complex (FRTC) modernization and expansion at Naval Air Station Fallon that Senator Rosen passed in 2023’s defense package after years of negotiations. Senator Rosen also secured an additional $45 million to accelerate the FRTC modernization.
  • Establishing A Military Training and Competency Record: Directs the Secretary of Defense to create a competency record that outlines the training and qualifications acquired by a servicemember while serving in the military. As they transition to the civilian sector, the servicemember can then provide this record to an employer to determine if their military training and qualifications satisfies the job requirements.
  • Addressing Dorm and Barracks Shortages: Requires the Department of Defense to prepare a plan on how to address the current shortage of dormitories and barracks in all branches of the military and to consider innovative solutions to reduce the burden on the housing markets.
  • Hearing Aid Coverage for Children of Retired Servicemembers: Extends hearing aid coverage to children of all retired servicemembers, including retired members of the reserve components.
  • Helping Improve Access to Mental Health Services for Former Remotely Piloted Aircraft Crew: Develops a status identifier for remotely piloted aircraft crew who conduct combat operations – like those at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada – so that they can receive mental health care services through the VA once they separate from the military.
  • Middle East Water and Food Security Working Group: Requires the Department of Defense to provide a report and briefing on coordination between U.S. Central Command and Middle East nations on issues relating to water, food, and security.
  • Establish Cyber Intelligence Center: Establishes a dedicated Cyber Intelligence Center at the Department of Defense to provide intelligence on the cyber capabilities of adversaries.
  • Abraham Accords Military Expert Exchange Program: Requires the Department of Defense to establish a military expert exchange program with Abraham Accords countries and other regional partners.
  • Providing Land for Tribal Housing: Provides an 80-acre parcel for the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe to utilize for housing as part of the FRTC modernization and expansion legislation Senator Rosen helped negotiate and pass.
  • Strengthening Cybersecurity at the Department of Defense: Elevates the Department of Defense Information Network as a subordinate unified combatant command at U.S. Cyber Command. 
  • Feasibility Study Regarding Assignment Incentive Pay for Remote or Isolated Installations: Directs the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on the feasibility of providing assignment incentive pay to servicemembers assigned to remote or isolated installations, like NAS Fallon. Servicemembers and their families stationed at remote or isolated installations often have to travel several hours for medical care, and face limited housing and childcare options nearby, leading to lengthy commute times. 

Key Rosen-backed provisions included in the FY24 NDAA include, among others:

  • Briefing on Hostage Release Efforts: Directs the Department of Defense to brief Congress on its efforts to secure the release of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents held by foreign terrorist organizations, such as Hamas.
  • Combating Foreign Terrorist Drones Act: Requires the Secretary of Defense to submit an intelligence assessment of foreign terrorist organizations’ acquisition of unmanned aerial systems.
  • U.S.-Israel Defense Cooperation: Authorizes $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation and $80 million for U.S.-Israel counter-tunnel cooperation.
  • U.S.-Taiwan Joint Training: Authorizes additional funding to expand joint training with Taiwan’s military to defend against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression.