CONGRESSMAN BISHOP APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Vice Chair of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 220-197:
“I am extremely pleased with the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. This year marks the 59th consecutive year Congress has enacted comprehensive legislation in support of a strong, wide-ranging national defense. This bill addresses our nation’s highest military threats by authorizing a defense enterprise that is inclusive, accountable, and responsible in the management of its resources.
The bill ensures America’s military maintains its competitive edge on the global stage by authorizing the most robust defense budget in history, at $733 billion, and implementing crucial oversight focused on strategic budgeting goals. This allows the military to sustain readiness, increase capabilities, and invest in the new software and technologies required to keep America secure.
As Co-Chair of the Military Family Caucus, I am glad the FY2020 NDAA recognizes our service members are our greatest asset in a strong national defense and prioritizes them accordingly. The bill strives to improve the lives of military service members by authorizing a 3.1% pay increase, a tenant bill of rights to protect families in privatized military housing, and $11.5 billion to improve the quality of military housing at military installations like Fort Benning, Georgia and others across the country. The bill also provides occupational support to military spouses, through doubled relicensing reimbursements and improving portability of occupational licenses, as frequent moves can be difficult for their careers.
The bill also prioritizes making the military a better workplace for women and minorities. The Department of Defense is now required to have a diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure minorities are more represented in the officer corps and the Marine Corps will begin gender integrated basic training. The bill authorized access to emergency contraception for sexual assault survivors and a “safe-to-report” policy at military service academies, which allows sexual assault victims to report sexual assault without fear of discipline for minor collateral misconduct.
I’m pleased this bill cements a robust national defense while strengthening our commitment to support our troops in every way possible. This will keep our military the best in the world.”