Congresswoman Elaine Luria Highlights Wins in Final Conference Report of National Defense Authorization Act

December 11, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) praised the results of the Conference Report for the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The final version of the NDAA keeps Congresswoman Luria’s longstanding promise to advocate for servicemembers and military families in Coastal Virginia and beyond.

“I am honored  to fight for our bravest men and women and ensure they have the resources they need to protect our country,” Congresswoman Luria said. “This year’s National Defense Authorization Act upholds our promise to servicemembers and satisfies key priorities for military installations in Hampton Roads. I am proud to support this bipartisan, bicameral agreement that will advances our national security and protect and the wellbeing of our servicemembers and their families.”

The FY2020 would:

  • Repeal the “Widow’s Tax” to end an unjust rule and ensure that Gold Star families can continue to receive Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits without reducing their SBP benefits.
  • Authorize $75 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program, which supports infrastructure projects in communities surrounding military installations.
  • Require the Department of Defense (DOD) to identify, mitigate, and plan for the effects of climate change on military installations and infrastructure, which is of critical for readiness of Hampton Roads installations.
  • Establish a limit of $13.22 billion for the construction of the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).
  • Reaffirm that the United States must maintain a minimum of 11 aircraft carriers to protect national security interests.
  • Authorize the first year of appropriations for the midlife refueling of the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).
  • Authorize $140.8 million to hire additional personnel to improve oversight and management of privatized military family housing and create a tenant bill of rights to protect families in military housing.
  • Provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees in the case of birth, adoption, or fostering.
  • Require DOD to develop a comprehensive mental health policy that examines the availability and effectiveness of these services for servicemembers.
  • Instruct the DOD to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs, containing metrics to measure the effectiveness of suicide prevention treatments, programs, and screenings.
  • Protect victims of sexual and domestic assault by requiring the establishment of a Defense Advisory Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct.
  • Ban the use of harmful PFAS chemicals in firefighting agents and in meal packaging.

The FY2020 NDAA passed the House in July, containing several of Congresswoman Luria’s amendments advancing Hampton Roads priorities.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.