WASHINGTON — Today, Rep. Kirkpatrick released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2500, FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. This responsible national defense authorization bill authorizes the funding needed for a strong, smart national defense strategy. It lays out our priorities to defend our nation, protect our interests abroad, and, most importantly, support our troops.
This NDAA bill secures a strong national defense that is built on key Democratic priorities and advances American values. It underpins a strong, smart defense posture with a tough stance on Russia and continued collaboration with allies, eliminates wasteful spending, promotes a more inclusive military by reinforcing the values of diversity, and solidifies Congress’ oversight role of defense programs.
Rep. Kirkpatrick was able to ensure that Arizona’s military bases are given the funding necessary to continue keeping our country safe. The legislation will provide $168.9 million to upgrade Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s A-10 Warthog aircraft, with $100 million dedicated to a vital wing replacement program. These upgrades will help keep this aircraft, as well as the jobs it creates, in service to 2030 and beyond. The bill also grants Luke Air Force Base $10.3 billion to acquire 78 new F-35 aircraft, which will allow it to continue its cutting-edge pilot training program that helps employ 8,400 Arizonans and returns $930 million to our local economy.
“This bill delivers vital funding for our Southern Arizona military needs, border infrastructure and our entire national security,” said Rep. Kirkpatrick. “This bill is a huge step towards highlighting America’s leadership around the globe and allows us to honor the responsibilities we have to our service men and women.”
In addition to securing this important funding specific to Arizona, Rep. Kirkpatrick was able to help deliver on some of House Democrats’ top priorities: supporting our service men and women and their families, implementing smart and strong improvements to our southern border’s infrastructure, protecting our national institutions from foreign interference, and maintaining the dignity of life for all individuals. Some of these key provisions contained in the bill are as follows:
- Authorizes funding for a 3.1 percent pay raise for our service men and women, the same as requested by the President.
- Includes numerous provisions to take care of military families, including improving military housing and cleaning up contaminated drinking water at military bases.
- Includes a number of provisions to promote diversity in the military.
- Prohibits any funding in the bill to be used for the construction of a wall, barrier, or fence along the southern land border.
- Protects children at the border by prohibiting DoD funds to house unaccompanied immigrant children forcibly separated from their parent or legal guardian by Customs and Border Protection within 100 miles of the border of the United States.
- Requires DoD briefings to Congress on Russian election interference; and requires that DoD issue a strategy to counter Russian election interference in the 2020 elections.
- Requires DoD to take steps to both address climate change and fund mitigation activities.
- Takes steps to accelerate the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
- Prohibits funding for the deployment of new, low-yield nuclear missile warheads.