U.S. Senator and the first ever North Dakotan to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced today he will serve on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Committee. 

“It is an honor to serve on the NDAA Conference Committee,” said Senator Cramer. “I will work to advance efforts focused on rebuilding our military and bettering the lives of our servicemembers, as well as bringing the maximum benefit to each North Dakota military asset, from the Air Force bases in Minot and Grand Forks to Cavalier and every National Guard installation.” 

By a vote of 87-7, the Senate agreed to go to conference with the House last night. This morning, the NDAA conferees met for the first time in what is known as the “pass the gavel” meeting. There, Senator Cramer laid out his priorities, including nuclear modernization, Space Force, and honoring the those who lost their lives in the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War.

“This year marks 50 years since we lost these 74 sailors. Memorializing their service is long overdue. Now is the time to honor them, in this NDAA,” said Senator Cramer. “Just like the nearly 60,000 people who died in Vietnam, these 74 men left home to give their country their all, and they did not return. I urge my colleagues to ensure Section 1094 of the House’s legislation remain in the final conference bill, so the “Lost 74” are lost no more.”

Congress has passed the NDAA for 58 straight years, authorizing and providing authorities for the U.S. military and critical national defense priorities, and ensuring our troops have what they need to defend our nation. When this year’s NDAA was being considered in SASC, Senator Cramer led three amendments to advance a modernized Space Force that aligns with the requests of our military community. The SASC-passed NDAA Senator Cramer supported also fully funded the RQ-4 Global Hawks and the B-52 programs.