Washington, DC – Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Agua Dulce) released the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee completed its markup of the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act on Thursday:
My committee’s markup of the $733 billion FY20 National Defense Authorization Act demonstrates that Congress can work on behalf of the American people.
In a process that took 21 hours and the commitment of hundreds of staff, we have passed a bill that will fully fund our military, keep our country safe and secure, support our local economies, and ensure that America remains the strongest country in the world.
Our district is rooted in defense, and this legislation ensures those roots grow deeper. Over the past five months, I have worked closely with leaders and experts in our military and at home to help write a bill that best supports Aerospace Valley jobs and families. Our wins include:
· A 3.1% pay increase for all military service members.
· $33 Million above the President’s budget request to ensure the continued U-2 modernization program at Plant 42, protecting over 350 Palmdale jobs.
· An additional $794.23 million for the European Defense Initiative, reversing cuts proposed by the President and ensuring we have the resources to deter Russian aggression in Europe.
· 90 F-35 fighters, marking the largest procurement of the aircraft to date. The F-35 Program directly and indirectly employs almost 6,000 people in CA-25.
· A requirement that the military establish a tenants’ bill of rights for residents of privatized military housing.
· An additional $121.3 million for environmental restoration remediation related to chemicals in drinking water, which could aid efforts to address Santa Susana Field Lab and Whittaker-Bermite cleanup.
· $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program to address deficiencies in community infrastructure projects around military installations like Edwards Air Force Base.
· 73 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters, which utilize parts from six different manufacturing suppliers in CA-25.
· Full funding of the B-21 bomber program at $3 billion.
During the markup, I was also able to add four amendments to the bill, which will:
· Extend anti-discrimination protections to federal interns;
· Strengthen anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and expand accountability within the Federal Government;
· Expand whistleblower protections to federal employees who identify waste, fraud, and abuse in classified programs, allowing them to report their concerns directly to their supervisors; and
· Expand the use of the West Los Angeles National Guard Armory as a year-round homelessness shelter.
In addition to supporting tens of thousands of local jobs, unlocking new opportunities for our community, and strengthening transparency and accountability in our government, these investments will give us the tools necessary to carry out modern multi-domain operations across units and with our allies, ensuring the safety and security of the American people regardless of the threat.
As the NDAA now moves to the floor for consideration by the House, I will continue to advocate for CA-25 through my work on this Committee and am committed to ensuring our taxpayer dollars are spent in the wisest possible manner as we confront the threats of our rapidly changing world. I’m proud to be working to deliver for this community, every single day.