July 06, 2020


Bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act includes military pay raise, action to address PFAS contamination, enhanced resiliency for military installations

WASHINGTON -- Today, the leadership of the House Democratic Caucus National Security Task Force highlighted the unanimous passage of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act through the House Armed Services Committee last week. The NDAA heads to the House floor with several provisions championed by National Security Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Jason Crow (D-CO), Andy Kim (D-NJ) and Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM) to honor and protect our nation’s servicemembers, create jobs and support critical military installations in their districts and across the country.

Key provisions of the bill as passed through committee include:

  • 3 percent pay increase for all military service members; 
  • Equal hazard pay for National Guard & Reserve members, ensuring that National Guard members assisting in our nation’s COVID-19 response receive pay commensurate with their Active Duty counterparts; 
  • $150 million in funding for research into PFAS remediation and disposal technologies, and an effort to use public-private partnerships to expedite the development of a safer AFFF replacement that protects the health of service members, their families and communities;
  • Measures that would create and support good-paying jobs, including incentives to promote local hiring for military construction programs and a requirement that DoD report to Congress on expedited payments to small businesses, which are experiencing financial strain during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Numerous climate change and resiliency initiatives, including a Reps. Crow and Torres-Small led initiative to ensure DoD consistently monitors water scarcity at at-risk military installations, updates its climate change roadmap and provides a brief on installation resiliency projects; and
  • Robust support for the transition of service members into civilian life through the Transition Assistance Program, including those serving on small and remote military installations.

“When I was in Iraq and Afghanistan, I was on the receiving end of decisions made in Congress. It’s why there were times I drove around in unarmored SUVs instead of military vehicles, and it’s why today I know exactly who House Democrats are fighting for - the men and women overseas who don’t have a say about the process in Washington,”  said National Security Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Jason Crow. “It remains a privilege and an honor to fight for our soldiers, advocate for Colorado’s priorities, and ensure we continue to assess and prepare for the new threats of today including climate change and biodefense.”

“The last place partisan politics belongs is in national security, and I’m proud to have delivered significant wins for our military and New Jersey in a truly bipartisan way,” said National Security Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Andy Kim. “From delivering a pay raise for our troops, to making sure jobs and funding come home to New Jersey, we did this the right way – by putting aside partisanship and putting our national security and our troops and their families first.” 

“As our country comes together to keep each other safe and healthy, I’m honored to once again work with my colleagues on Armed Services to support our brave service members who keep us safe,” National Security Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Torres Small said. “As a member of the House Armed Service Committee that represents critical military installations and national laboratories, I am dedicated to improving the military’s drought plans, investing in the next generation of weapons testing and ensuring that New Mexico continues to have a leading role in our country’s national security.”