Congressman Carson Amendment Included in National Defense Authorization Act
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman André Carson released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), annual federal legislation that authorizes spending and sets policy for the United States military and Department of Defense. Included in the bill was a provision authored by Congressman Carson which makes permanent the requirement for the DOD to provide mental health assessments to deployed service members.
“After almost two decades of non-stop war, significant investments are needed to ensure our force is fully trained and equipped to address emerging threats around the world. While the spending increases included in this bill should be followed by similar increases in domestic priorities, we cannot further delay investments that will keep our service members safe as they prepare to address growing threats in China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
“I am particularly pleased that the bill included my amendment to make permanent the military’s mid-deployment mental health assessment program. Since my Military Suicide Reduction Act was enacted in 2014, I have heard countless stories from service members about the positive impacts of universal assessments. If we hope to overcome the stigma of mental health treatment, we need to make screenings universal, not optional. This bill, and today’s amendment, are a critical part of this ongoing effort.”