Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Isakson Applauds Senate Passage of Measure to Strengthen National Defense, Support Service Members, Families


Senator Johnny Isakson (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following:

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
Marie Gordon, 770-661-0999

Isakson Applauds Senate Passage of Measure to Strengthen National Defense, Support Service Members, Families
Fiscal year 2020 national defense authorization moves to president to become law

ATLANTA – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today applauded the Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 to strengthen national security in the face of evolving global threats. The measure benefits our all-volunteer force of service members and their families and invests in Georgia’s military installations, including the nearly 90,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the state.

The conference agreement on S.1790 passed the U.S. Senate today with overwhelming support. The annual defense legislation builds on last year’s increased investments in readiness, modernization and benefits for our service members. It creates a sixth independent branch of military service, the U.S. Space Force, to counter emerging threats in the space environment. It also prohibits the Department of Defense (DOD) from conducting another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round in fiscal year 2020. The bill now moves to the president’s desk to become law.

“Georgia’s exemplary military installations play a critical role in keeping America safe at home and abroad, and I’m proud that this defense authorization supports our installations, our service members and families,” said Isakson. “The greatness of this country is that we can count on our service members at any time and in any place to uphold the mantle of freedom. We must support them, and I am confident that the Trump administration, Senator David Perdue and Senator-designate Kelly Loeffler, who will take my seat in the Senate in January, will continue to fortify global partnerships and provide what is necessary to protect America against any threats to our security.”

The fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act builds on the previous year’s pay raise for active duty troops with a 3.1% raise for members of the armed forces for fiscal year 2020.

The measure authorizes $11.8 billion for military construction, including housing for military families and members who live on base. In 2018, the Senate passed legislation Isakson introduced in response to a report on cases of lead poisoning at on-base housing. The legislation takes these issues into account and directs the Department of Defense to create a Military Tenant Bill of Rights, a clear and fair dispute resolution process for military tenants. It increases oversight of military contractors, enhances quality assurance and quality control measures, and authorizes more than $300 million for additional government personnel to oversee contractors on military installations while providing direct hiring authority for these positions.

It also improves the transferability of licensing for military spouses when their families are transferred to another state for new assignments, and it extends DOD’s ability to reimburse spouses for licensure and certification costs for another two years.

The measure includes a total of $738 billion set aside for national defense. It includes $201.9 billion for the base budget and $54.8 billion for the overseas contingency operations budget. Authorized personnel end-strength numbers are 480,000 in the Army; 332,800 in the U.S. Air Force; 186,200 in the U.S. Marine Corps; and 340,500 in the U.S. Navy.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the final conference agreement on Dec. 11. The full conference agreement can be found online here.



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Marie Hodge Gordon
Press Secretary

3625 Cumberland Boulevard | Suite 970 | Atlanta, GA 30339
phone: 770.661.0999 | fax: 770.661.0768