Annual Defense Bill Passes Senate

The Senate passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 in a 86-11 vote last week. I was proud to vote for this bill that will set policy for the Department of Defense (DoD), establish the national security priorities of Congress, give U.S. servicemembers a much-deserved pay raise, and help deter the Chinese Communist Party.

This is one of the most important pieces of legislation the Senate considers each year, and I’m pleased that the Senate-passed bill includes several critical priorities I’ve worked on, including:

The Building Chips in America Act, a microchip manufacturing permitting reform bill I introduced with Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.). This bipartisan legislation will maximize the impact of the CHIPS and Science Act enacted last year by streamlining federal environmental reviews for chip manufacturing projects. This will prevent construction delays for projects across the country. More about this legislation is available here.

DoD Audit Deadline, to require the DoD to conduct a full and clean audit within four years. The amendment would hold the Secretary of Defense accountable for any failure by DoD to complete a clean audit. As DoD undergoes an extensive, vital modernization, policymakers must be able to debate and consider the Department’s budgetary priorities in a transparent manner, with all the facts available.

Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAP) Disclosure Act, legislation I introduced with a group of Senate colleagues that would increase transparency around UAP and further open scientific research. This legislation would direct the National Archives and Records Administration to create a collection of records to be known as the UAP Records Collection and direct every government office to identify which records would fall into the collection. The UAP Records Collection would carry the presumption of immediate disclosure, which means that a review board would have to provide a reasoning for the documents to stay classified. More about this legislation is available here.

Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonics Test Bed (MACH-TB) Infrastructure, bill report language I authored in support of MACH-TB, which is led by Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC-Crane) in southern Indiana. The advancement of hypersonic weapons systems is a top priority for the DoD, and the ability to test them rapidly and affordably is the key to accelerating their development and delivery to our warfighters. Inclusion of this report language solidifies Crane’s role as the Navy’s Center of Excellence for Hypersonics and its national role in developing and integrating new hypersonic capabilities for both the Navy and the DoD as a whole.

For a full list of national security wins in the bill and more information, click here.


Protecting AM Radio Important for Hoosiers

AM radio plays a vital role in preserving public safety across Indiana. To ensure Hoosiers – especially those in the most rural areas – continue to have access to weather updates, local news, and emergency and disaster response information on AM radio, I cosponsored the AM for Every Vehicle Act. This bill would guarantee the ongoing availability of AM broadcast in new vehicles without any additional costs to the consumer. 

Last week, our bipartisan bill passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee. I look forward to voting for this bill on the Senate floor.

Read more about this legislation here


Bill to Ensure Lifesaving Organs Reach Patients

Every day, 17 people die while on the organ transplant waiting list, and another 13 are removed from the waiting list because they have become too sick to receive a transplant. Additionally, there are more than 100,000 Americans on the organ donation waiting list today, including nearly 1,200 Hoosiers. Despite the urgent need for these life-saving organs, more action is needed to help prevent lifesaving organs from getting lost in transport.

I introduced the LOST Organs Act with Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) to require the U.S. organ donation system to better track organs and publicly report on the status of all organs in transport. Our bipartisan bill would create greater transparency and accountability so that these organs are not lost, damaged, or delayed in transit.

Read more about this legislation here


Indiana FFA Visits Washington



I enjoyed meeting with students from Indiana FFA and the National FFA Organization to discuss the importance of both agricultural education and career and technical education. The lessons, tools, and resources gained through the FFA program equip Indiana’s future leaders with the skills needed to succeed in a variety of fields. Watch a short video from our meeting here.


Housing Affordability Conversations Continue 


Last week, I continued my conversations about housing affordability with Hoosiers in Evansville. We discussed three bills I have introduced that would increase the availability of safe, affordable housing in Indiana and across our country.  

More information on the bills can be found below:

  1. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act would incentivize private investment in blighted communities to help revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Indiana and across the country.

  2. The Yes In My Backyard Act would shed light on discriminatory land zoning policies, encourage localities to cut burdensome regulations, and bring a new level of transparency to the community development process.

  3. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would help build nearly two million new affordable homes over the next decade by expanding and strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, our country’s most successful affordable housing program. 


Tax Change Will Support Local Speedways

Motorsports are engrained in Indiana’s history and culture and play a major role in our state’s economy. I introduced the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act to make a simple fix to our tax code that would allow venues to more effectively plan improvements and make safety updates, bringing additional jobs and positive economic impacts to surrounding communities. 

This bipartisan bill will give speedways the ability to make needed improvements, invest in safety, and enhance the spectator experience. I’m proud to support this bill on behalf of the Hoosier motorsports industry and race fans across Indiana. 

Read more about this legislation here


The PACT Act and How it May Impact Veterans Affairs Benefits

The PACT Act, enacted in 2022, is one of the largest health care and benefit expansions in Veterans Affairs (VA) history. 

The PACT Act will:

  • Expand and extend eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras.
  • Add 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures.
  • Add more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation.
  • Require the VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care.
  • Help improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures.

If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits. There’s no deadline to apply for PACT Act benefits. But if you file your PACT Act claim—or quickly submit your intent to file—by August 9, 2023, you may receive benefits backdated to August 10, 2022.

Click here to file a disability claim online.

Click here to learn how to submit an intent to file.


Local News

93.1 WIBC: Senator Young Introduce Bill Supporting AM Radio

The Lebanon Reporter: Building Chips in America Act Introduced

Tristate Homepage: Politicians Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Access to A.I. Research

WOWO: Senator Young Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect American Motorsports


Thank you for the continued privilege to serve you in the U.S. Senate. My mission is to fight on behalf of Hoosiers and the interests that are unique to our state. I look forward to working with you, and sharing our progress, in the days ahead. 

In Service,