Deutch Statement on House Passage of $733B National Defense Authorization
The House's bill provides 3.1% pay increase for military.
After the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) issued this statement:
"House Democrats just passed a national defense bill that will ensure our nation provides for our men and women in uniform and strengthens our military resolve around the world, including by ensuring the reckless decisions by President Trump don’t lead us to unnecessary conflict.
"We prioritized the needs of our military by passing the most robust defense budget in history at $733 billion while cutting $17 billion in wasteful requests by the Administration, including their request for $7.2 billion to build a wall on our southern border.
"We gave our military the significant 3.1% pay raise they deserve, included paid family leave policies, and authorized the creation of a tenant bill of rights to protect military families. We created and funded new initiatives to encourage diversity in the military and target racist, anti-Semitic, or supremacist activity. And we reversed the unfair Widow’s Tax (SBP-DIC offset) that placed a significant burden on grieving spouses and children of our fallen heroes.
"We authorized significant funding to bolster our defense and deterrence strategies around the world. We strengthened our hand against Russian aggression, requiring strategies to address their incursions in the Black Sea and their efforts to interfere in elections in our country and around the world. We reasserted Congress’ role in overseeing military activity by requiring stricter oversight of U.S. military activity in Iraq and Syria. And we recommitted ourselves to standing with our European allies.
"This defense authorization also considers the threat climate change poses to our military readiness. We require the Pentagon to report to Congress on our military’s vulnerabilities to climate change and how it will meet the goal of using 25% renewable energy for military facilities by 2025. I am proud that the bill also restarts the process of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and bans any new detainees, including U.S. citizens, being placed in Guantanamo.
"The bill also stands up for our female servicemembers by eliminating copayments for contraceptives under TRICARE and by improving access to emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault."