National Defense Authorization Act, 2019 (Public Law 115-232)

Policy Details

Policy Details

Originating Entity
Last Action
Signed into law by the President
Date of Last Action
Aug 13 2018
Congressional Session
115th Congress
Date Introduced
Apr 13 2018
Publication Date
Sep 28 2018

SciPol Summary

Public Law 115-232 funds and authorizes various programs related to national security for fiscal year 2019. 

Regarding the opioid crisis, section 716 directs the Defense Health Agency to establish a pilot program that aims to minimize early opioid exposure and to prevent progression to misuse or abuse of opioid medications among those covered by the TRICARE program. The pilot program will identify opportunities for opioid misuse or abuse; directly engage with TRICARE beneficiaries on how to avoid opioid misuse and abuse; monitor beneficiaries to predict the potential for opioid abuse and addiction; and provide home disposal kits to deactivate excess opioids. The program can last no more than three years. If the Defense Health Agency deems the program to be effective in reducing early opioid exposure, however, the program may become permanent.

Other provisions relating to neuroscience include:

  • Section 226: requiring the Army to continually evaluate and develop personal equipment that can protect servicemembers from the effects of blast injuries such as traumatic brain injury; and 
  • Section 702: requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to carry out a pilot program to assess the feasibility of treating servicemembers with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from military sexual trauma.

The law contains provisions relating to artificial intelligence, such as:

  • Section 238: requiring the DOD to coordinate its efforts on developing and utilizing artificial intelligence;
  • Section 1051: establishing a National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence; and 
  • Section 1649: requiring a pilot program on using artificial intelligence and other technologies to model cyberattacks on critical DOD infrastructure.

Finally, various provisions among the law discuss the DOD's energy use, their energy resilience and energy security, and energy conservation measures among the DOD. Similar provisions discuss energy production and defense projects carried out by the Department of Energy, especially related to nuclear energy.

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