Tillis secured over $2 billion for NC military installations, reforms to military housing program, pay raise for servicemembers
Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The legislation passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and supports $750 billion in funding national defense for fiscal year 2020. The bill also includes several key provisions championed by Senator Tillis to improve the lives of our servicemembers and military families, and makes critical improvements to North Carolina's military installations in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, Senator Tillis chaired an open hearing on the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. On a bipartisan basis, Senator Tillis and his subcommittee colleagues passed an across the board 3.1% pay raise for our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines. Additionally, Senator Tillis worked to secure a number of reforms in the FY20 NDAA to take meaningful steps to address the serious issues with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI). Senator Tillis' personnel subcommittee markup also addresses military sexual assault prevention and response, provides impact aid for local educational agencies, supports military spouse employment, and expands health care for military members and their families.
"I'm proud of the work we accomplished in the NDAA on behalf of our servicemembers, including addressing military housing issues plaguing bases across the country, taking steps to prevent military sexual assault, and once again giving our men and women and women in uniform a pay raise,"
said Senator Tillis
. "This bipartisan legislation also ensures North Carolina's military installations will get more than $2 billion as they continue to play an important role in the defense of our nation and recover from the devastation of Hurricane Florence."
A summary of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020
is available HERE.
Senator Tillis' Priorities in the NDAA:
Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI)
End Strengths/Pay and Compensation
- The NDAA takes meaningful steps to address serious issues with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, including:
- Improving quality of life for service members and their families living in privatized military housing by creating a Tenant Bill of Rights, setting up a dispute resolution process, and increasing oversight
- Holding private military housing companies accountable by instating new quality assurance and quality control measures and increasing health and hazard inspections
- Strengthening management of military housing by providing an additional $301.8 million to ensure each installation has the necessary government housing personnel to implement thorough oversight and planning measures
Military Justice and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
- Authorizes active duty end strength levels consistent with the President's Budget
- Army: 480,000
- Marine Corps: 186,200
- Navy: 340,500
- Air Force: 332,800
- Provides for a 3.1 percent pay raise for members of the Armed Forces
- Authorizes $155.8 billion for military personnel, including costs of pay, allowances, bonuses, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves
- Reauthorizes over 30 types of bonuses and special pays
Limitation on the transfer of F-35 aircraft to the Republic of Turkey
- Requires SECDEF to permit a victim of sexual assault who files a restricted report to request return of the victim's personal property obtained as part of the sexual assault forensic examination
- Clarifies that the Privacy Act would not apply to court-martial records of trial or to court-martial docket information, filings, and records required to be made accessible to the public
- Requires the Comptroller General to study and submit a report on the Armed Forces' implementation of statutory requirements on sexual assault prevention and response from 2004 to the present
- The bill includes a provision based off a bill introduced by Senators Tillis, Lankford, Shaheen and Van Hollen that would prohibit the transfer of F-35 aircraft, equipment, and data to Turkey until Turkey certifies that it will not accept delivery of the S-400 air missile defense system.
Military Spouse Employment
- Addition of $40 million in supplemental impact funding to local education agencies with military dependent students
- Addition of $10 million in impact funding for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities
Report on PFOS and PFOA contamination on military installations
- Increases employment opportunities for military spouses by including provisions to:
- Make it easier for military spouses to transport their occupational licenses when they move
- Extend the authority for the Services to reimburse licensure and certification costs of military spouses arising from a permanent change of station
- Encourage the Department to expand the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program
- Simplifies military spouse residency requirements
Military/Civilian Personnel Policy
- Directs the Defense Secretary to submit a report to congressional defense committees detailing installations and facilities potentially germane to the PFOA and PFOS Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisories established by the EPA, as well as any drinking water supplies that may exceed PFOA and PFOS levels recommended by these advisories.
- Allows parental leave to be taken in multiple increments
- Clarifies that any military member or DOD civilian deployed in support of a contingency operation is entitled to free mail home and enhances access to military post offices overseas
- Expands authority to reimburse civilian employees for taxes related to relocation expenses
- Directs DOD to brief on how it will standardize childcare eligibility policies and ensure priority of Active-Duty servicemembers' childcare needs over the childcare needs of others
Military Ballot Tracking Pilot
- Authorizes $33 billion for the Defense Health Program
- Clarifies responsibilities of Defense Health Agency and the Services on delivery of beneficiary healthcare and medical readiness
- Requires the Secretary of Defense to establish up to 4 regional medical hubs to support the operational medical requirements of the combatant commands by October 1, 2022.
- Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to establish/maintain additional medical centers in locations with large beneficiary population or locations that serve as the primary readiness platforms of the Armed Forces
- Expands the DoD Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) run Military Ballot Tracking Pilot (MBTP) to additional military voters and their eligible family members