U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the below statement following the passage of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report by a vote of 377 to 48 yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives:
“The needs of our military service members and their families are paramount and I am delighted that the Democratic-led House delivered for service members and their families: a 3.1 percent pay raise which is the largest in a decade, improvements to base housing, and a new 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.
“For months, I have worked with military families who reside on MacDill Air Base in housing that contains mold and who have pressed for accountability from derelict contractors. The NDAA establishes a bill of rights for military families in base housing and ensures that contractors are held accountable for housing issues that are not addressed quickly. These resources will help empower military families and address mold and shoddy construction in privatized base housing at MacDill and across the country. I will continue to work with MacDill families to ensure they have high quality homes on base.
“In addition to the salary increase, the NDAA goes further than providing for our service members and their families, it also secures 12 full weeks of paid parental leave for all workers across the federal government and ends the unjust ‘widow’s tax’.
“As the climate crisis increases costs for military installations and exacerbates threats to our nation’s security, I am pleased that meaningful resiliency measures are included in the NDAA. Wins include increasing funds for military construction projects that improve energy resiliency, requiring water conservation targets for the DOD, and ensuring DOD can assess, adapt and plan for climate risk. The provisions that help DOD deploy more clean energy and increase energy efficiency are also crucial. As Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I am committed to addressing the impacts on all aspects of our way of life and economy, including our nation’s military.”
MacDill AFB is home to SOCOM and U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), two of the nation’s most important military commands. MacDill AFB’s 6th Air Refueling Wing is the centerpiece of the U.S. Air Force’s Global Vigilance, Global Reach, Global Power mission with its essential function of aerial refueling. The scale of MacDill AFB’s missions have rapidly increased with the expansion of eight new KC-135 tankers and related service members. MacDill AFB’s mission is vital to keeping America safe and ready for any contingencies we may face as a nation.