Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. The bill, which authorizes all discretionary defense spending for the upcoming fiscal year, included Rep. Pete Aguilar’s OPPORTUNITY Act of 2018, legislation to connect students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) with the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program.
“We know that cyber warfare will continue to be one of the most serious threats to our national security, and that we need the best and brightest students enrolled in our national cyber defense programs. The provision that passed the House today will ensure that students who historically haven’t received these types of opportunities won’t be overlooked as we recruit the best cyber talent our universities have to offer,” said Rep. Aguilar.
The OPPORTUNITY Act was added to the NDAA on Wednesday when the House passed Rep. Aguilar’s amendment unanimously. A strong advocate for increasing the United States’ cyber capabilities, Rep. Aguilar passed an amendment last year to revive the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program. The scholarship program allowed 40 students, including two students from California State University, San Bernardino, to receive cyber scholarships and a guaranteed offer of employment with the Department of Defense upon graduation.