House Passes Kiggans’ Legislation to Secure U.S. Defense Chain of Command

May 06, 2024
Armed Forces

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Jen Kiggans’ (VA-02) H.R. 6972, the Securing the Chain of Command Continuity Act. This bipartisan legislation, which Congresswoman Kiggans introduced alongside Congressman Don Davis (NC-01), will help preserve America’s nation defense superiority by preventing chain of command violations among members of the National Security Council (NSC). The Securing the Chain of Command Continuity Act passed by a unanimous voice vote and now heads to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

Congresswoman Kiggans introduced the Securing the Chain of Command Continuity Act earlier this year following reports that essential members of the U.S. government, including the President, were left in the dark over Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recent absence due to health challenges.

“As the world grows more dangerous and threats to our servicemembers stationed abroad increase, we must have a strong chain of command among our military’s leadership that cannot be compromised,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I am proud the House came together across party lines today and passed my bill to prevent critical communications breakdowns that put our men and women in uniform at risk. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly so the Securing the Chain of Command Continuity Act can become law and help us protect America’s national security.”

“Responding to a world crisis in the shortest amount of time is essential for safeguarding the American people. A 24-hour notice is not only reasonable, but it also allows more accountability and transparency,” said Congressman Davis. “In catastrophic times, prompt response is crucial. The ability to react swiftly and effectively can make all the difference in saving lives.”

Specifically, this legislation would amend the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to require all members of the NSC to provide notification to the Executive Office of the President, the Comptroller General of the United States, and to each chamber of Congress within 24 hours of any planned or emergent medical incapacitation. In the event this notification does not occur, the respective agency would be required to submit a comprehensive report providing transparency surrounding the incapacitation and related notification failure to the above entities within three days. Before its passage on the House Floor, the bill was passed out of the House Oversight Committee by a unanimous, bipartisan vote on February 6, 2024. 

You can read the full text of the bill here


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