Press Releases

Congresswoman Lori Trahan Announces Massachusetts Priorities Secured in House Passed National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, July 12, 2019

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA-03), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, secured several key wins for Massachusetts in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 (H.R. 2500). The House passed the NDAA earlier today. The FY20 NDAA authorizes $733 billion for our national defense to take care of troops, conduct critical research and development, and secure our country.

“This year’s defense authorization will improve military readiness and maintain our Armed Forces’ capability in a volatile and changing world. We’ve provided our men and women in uniform with the pay increase they deserve, made critical investments in technology to safeguard our cyber infrastructure and capabilities, and took another important step towards combating sexual assault in the military,” said Congresswoman Lori Trahan. 

“Massachusetts plays a vital role in safeguarding our servicemembers and our Nation. I am pleased that the FY20 defense budget will support our Commonwealth’s military facilities, thousands of civilian and military jobs, and enhance our leadership in research and development which prepares our next generation of servicemembers and keeps our competitive advantage sharp. I’m especially pleased to do all of this while cutting unnecessary spending at the Pentagon. I was glad to stand with my colleagues to defeat an amendment to the budget that would have added an additional $17 billion.” added Congresswoman Trahan.

What stakeholders are saying:

“The HEROES research team and the university are very appreciative of Rep. Trahan’s support for HEROES. It will help HEROES expand research and development activities to meet critical needs in the areas of soldier protection and survivability, by use of lightweight, multifunctional materials that will reduce the weight and logistical burden on military personnel while increasing functionality and mission effectiveness,” said Prof. Ramaswamy Nagarajan, co-director of HEROES and faculty member in UMass Lowell’s Francis College of Engineering.

"The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence is grateful for the leadership of Representatives Trahan, Turner and Cisneros in introducing the Prevention of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces Act, and working to have it included in the National Defense Authorization Act.  It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all institutions are doing everything in their power to address and end sexual violence. Strong protections for survivors as well as a critical focus on preventing future violence are absolutely necessary to accomplish this goal in the military," said Terri Poore, Policy Director, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence

“Protect Our Defenders proudly and fiercely supports the Prevention of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces Act, and is glad to see language from that critical legislation included in the National Defense Authorization Act. The military has thus far failed to quell the number of sexual assaults committed within its ranks, thus necessitating the assistance and advice of an informed and unbiased task force. Protect Our Defenders fully endorses the increased transparency that this bill would provide to victims of military sexual assault, as well as the expanded opportunities for career advancement for enlisted members interested in pursuing advanced degrees in law,” said Adelaide Kahn, Program and Services Manager, Protect Our Defenders.

“Boston University is grateful for Congresswoman Trahan’s support of the Department of Defense’s science and technology activities. Thanks to her leadership, Massachusetts universities can continue groundbreaking research in areas such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and biotechnology, all of which contribute to national security,” said Gloria Waters, Boston University’s Associate Provost and Vice President for Research.

Congresswoman Trahan led on several provisions included in final passage that are important to Massachusetts, including key research collaborations between the Department of Defense and leading universities, such as UMass Lowell, UMass Amherst, Boston University, and Northeastern University.

  • Harnessing Emerging Research Opportunities to Empower Soldiers (HEROES) program at UMass Lowell. Rep. Trahan secured an additional $5 million in funding for the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center for this joint research initiative that supports life-saving technologies for US troops.
  • $121.3M to support programs to clean up perfluorinatedchemicals (PFAS) in drinking water on/near military bases.
  • The Prevention of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation was introduced in June by Congresswoman Trahan, and was included in the NDAA during committee markup at her urging. This provision requires the Defense Department to create a civilian advisory committee on sexual assault prevention. The committee would be comprised of up to 20 civilian members with expertise in campus sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, public health, and culture change of large organizations, among other areas. The committee would advise the Secretary of Defense on ways to implement new programs or improve existing programs dedicated to preventing sexual assault.
  • Supporting Children of the National Guard and Reserve Units. Massachusetts is home to 27,580 active-duty personnel, National Guard members, and reservists. Congresswoman Trahan’s amendment would make it so that children of these individuals are counted under the military student identifier (MSI) outlined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This allows teachers and counselors to identify which of their students may be in need of additional support, and provide invaluable data for educators, parents, and policymakers to better understand the academic outcomes of all military-connected students. This amendment was supported by Home Base in Charlestown, MA, Military Child Education Coalition, Reserve Officers Association (ROA), and the National Education Association (NEA). 
  • Increased R&D funding to support the collaboration between the Office of Naval Research and universities in the state to research efforts that enhance energy resilience to improve energy security. Amount secured was $5 million above the Administration’s request.
  • Funding for Digital Security of Additive Manufacturing (DSAM). This $10 million request will help develop next generation technologies to protect our critical cybersecurity assets while meeting operational requirements.
  • Supporting Lincoln Labs through a provision led by Rep. Trahan in support of Lincoln Labs that would allow the Air Force to prepare a long-term modernization plan that could amount to more than $1.5 billion in infrastructure investments over a thirty-year period and affirmed the vital role that Lincoln Labs plays in our national defense.

Additionally, this NDAA:

Takes care of our servicemembers:

  • 3.1% military pay raise; fully funds end strength as requested by the President’s Budget
  • Tenant bill of rights protects families in privatized military housing
  • $11.5B for military construction, family housing, and implements BRAC activities
  • Doubles reimbursement amounts for spouse licenses and certification programs to $1K

Builds a stronger national defense:

  • Authorizes $6.5 billion to European Deterrence Initiative – exceeds Administration’s request
  • Briefings on Russian election interference and strategies to counter efforts in 2020
  • Continued collaboration in Asia to contain North Korean threat
  • Prohibits troop reduction in South Korea –cannot fall below 28.5K
  • Requires DoD plans for potential threats posed by climate change

Strengthens oversight:

  • Prevents the President from diverting Defense funding to pay for border wall
  • Limits DoD’s ability to reprogram: authorized taxpayer dollars used as intended
  • Congressional notifications required prior to use of military force
  • Identifies legal/policy frameworks associated with each military engagement
  • Members not tasked for missions w/adverse readiness impact (like the SW Border)
  • Prohibits the deployment of new, low-yield ballistic missile warheads
  • Requires DoD develop tools to mitigate supply chain risk during requirements generation
  • Protects DoD against cyber threats; assess risks in telecoms policies, services & equipment

Bolsters accountability:

  • Increases fair and open competition in space launch market
  • Updates DoD reporting requirements regarding civilian casualties so that American leadership abroad is consistent with our values
  • Bans new detainees in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base; eliminates arbitrary restrictions on transfer of detainees –except to Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya
  • Reforms acquisition policies with an increased emphasis on the software and personnel required to make acquisition efficient and cost-effective

 

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