Chairman Menendez Applauds Senate Passage of National Defense Legislation Including Foreign Relations Committee Priorities
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024. This year’s defense package included numerous priorities Chairman Menendez spearheaded to further modernize the Department of State for 21st-century challenges; advance a security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; provide resources for families advocating for the release of loved ones wrongfully or unlawfully detained abroad; and support children with disabilities around the world.
“As the United States seeks to invest in solutions to ongoing global issues, one of my measures will help uplift children with disabilities around the world who are frequently denied the opportunity to grow up in a loving family and thrive in their communities. This provision authorizes funding for an ‘International Children with Disabilities Protection Program’ to empower organizations and families advocating for children with disabilities globally.
Chairman Menendez’s provision in the NDAA authorizes $5 million annually for five years for an “International Children with Disabilities Protection Program,” a State Department small-grants program to empower organizations and families advocating for children with disabilities. In addition, the legislation bolsters U.S. policy to promote the development of laws and policies that support the full inclusion of children with disabilities in families. (July 28, 2023 release)
DRI thanks Senator Menedez along with 11 cosponsors (Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS], Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL], Sen. Blackburn, Marsha [R-TN], Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD], Sen. Tillis, Thomas [R-NC], Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH], Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA], Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL], Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR], Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT], and Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]) in their support of the International Children with Disabilities Protection Act.
More than 100 children and disability rights organizations have endorsed this bill (endorsement list link).