WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 to improve the lives of servicemembers and military families. The legislation passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis and authorizes $738 billion in national defense funding for fiscal year 2020.
As Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, Senator Tillis led the effort to pass 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 also made efforts to address military sexual assault prevention and response, support military spouse employment, and expand health care for military members and their families.
“I was proud to lead bipartisan efforts to provide the largest pay raise for our servicemembers in nearly a decade and major reforms to address the housing crisis affecting installations across the country, including Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation is a big win for North Carolina’s servicemembers and our military families, and I am proud it will be signed into law by President Trump and lay the groundwork for additional reforms on behalf of our military for next year’s bill.”
Total Authorized Funding for North Carolina’s Military Installations - $1.821 billion
Total MILCON Funding - $586.38 million
- Camp Lejeune - $238.06 million
- MCAS Cherry Point - $251.72 million
- Fort Bragg – $96.6 million
Total Hurricane Florence Funding - $1.235 billion
- Camp Lejeune - $703.09 million
- MCAS Cherry Point - $66.551 million
- MCAS New River - $465.822M
Senator Tillis’ Priorities Secured in the NDAA:
Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI)
- The NDAA takes meaningful steps to address serious issues with the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, including:
- Designate a Chief Housing Officer, who will be a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed DoD official, to oversee the Military Housing Privatized Initiative.
- Require each Service to create a Tenant Bill of Rights that will set minimum standards.
- Require DoD to establish standardized assessment procedures for determining risks in military housing.
- Increase health and hazard inspections.
- Direct each military service to develop guidelines for a dispute resolution process to include the ability to withhold BAH until the dispute is resolved.
- Ban the use of non-disclosure agreements.
- Enhance protections for tenants against reprisal.
End Strengths/Pay and Compensation
- 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.
Military/Civilian Personnel Policy
- 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.
- Prohibits the reduction of certain military personnel billets until the completion of reviews required in the FY17 NDAA.
- Enhances combat casualty care for troops through partnerships with medical expertise outside the Department of Defense.
- Requires DoD to develop a comprehensive policy on providing mental health care to service members.
- Authorizes the National Guard to establish a pilot program that would allow Guardsmen to receive immediate access to mental health professionals through a smartphone application.
- Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to allow, settle, and pay administrative claims against the United States for personal injury or death of a member of the Armed Forces resulting from medical malpractice caused by a DoD health care provider.
Military Justice and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
- Increases resources available for certain programs to help sexual assault survivors, including increasing the number of investigative personnel and Victim Witness Assistance Program liaisons.
- Provides additional training for commanders on their roles in dealing with sexual assault cases.
- Requires a special victims counsel be made available not later than 72 hours after a request is made.
Report on PFOS and PFOA contamination on military installations
- Prohibits the use of firefighting foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) after October 1, 2024.
- Encourages the Secretary of Defense to finalize cooperative agreements with states to address PFAS contamination.
- Allows the National Guard to use Defense Environmental Remediation Account (DERA) funds to address PFOS and PFOA exposure and contamination from National Guard activities at National Guard installations.
Limitation on the transfer of F-35 aircraft to the Republic of Turkey
- 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.
- Authorizes an additional $40 million in supplemental impact funding to local education agencies with military dependent students.
- Authorizes an additional $10 million in impact funding for schools with military dependent children with severe disabilities.
Military Spouse Employment
- Increases employment opportunities for military spouses by including provisions to:
- Double the reimbursement amount for state licensure expenses incurred by military spouses arising from a permanent change of station.
- Authorize a cooperative agreement with the Council of State Governors to help fund the development of interstate compacts to improve spouse professional license portability.