Last week, I was pleased to support the passage of H.R. 6972, the Securing the Chain of Command Continuity Act. By passing this bill, we ensure that the events of earlier this year will never happen again. When Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spent time in an intensive care unit after entering a military hospital, Joe Biden was not informed of his hospital stay or the temporary change in the chain of command for days. Deputy Secretary Hicks was not immediately told that she was the acting Secretary of Defense. This is unacceptable, and this act will help ensure that this never happens again.

H.R. 6972 amends the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to require all members of the National Security Council 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. If there is a failure to notify the required entities within 24 hours, then the individual responsible must submit a report outlining each point of failure in detail.