December 11, 2019

Correa Applauds Passage Of NDAA With His Amendments

Washington, DC Congressman Lou Correa’s (D-CA-46) released the following statement on the passage the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act conference report including three of his amendments:

“I am pleased with this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). While it is not a perfect bill, it addresses numerous areas of concern while ensuring our men and women in uniform have the support and supplies they need to get the job done.

“This year’s bill includes numerous provisions to protect the United States and our servicemembers, including new rules to safeguard DREAMers serving in our armed forces by preventing them from being involuntarily separated over their immigration status, ensure military housing is clean and habitable, and guarantee all federal employees paid family leave. Additionally, the NDAA also ends a death tax on surviving spouses of servicemember who give their lives for our country and seeks to protect Syrian civilians by holding Bashar al-Assad regime accountable.

“I am also pleased that three of my amendments where included in this bill. My amendments help address educational disparities facing the children of National Guard soldiers, expand investment and recruitment of cybersecurity warriors, and ensure Congress receives prompt notification of cyberattacks aimed at our military by Russia, China, Iran, or North Korea. Each of these amendment addresses a critical shortfall and works to improve the lives of our servicemembers and protect our nation.

“We ask a lot of our men and women in uniform. We owe it to them to ensure they have the tools and support they need to accomplish their mission and get home.”

Congressman Correa’s amendments included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act are:

Amendment 1: Text from H.R. 1896, the Supporting Children of the National Guard and Reserve Act (Section 579, Page 499)

  • The Supporting Children of the National Guard and Reserve Act amends the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to include children of National Guard and Reserve members in the Military Student Identifier program, which requires states to identify students from military families to ensure that schools know which students have parents in the military to help accommodate any unique needs.

Amendment 2: STEM Amendment (Section 262 (c) (12), Page 217)

  • The amendment requires the “National Security Commission on Defense Research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Institutions,” to evaluate the effectiveness of the Department of Defense in attracting and retaining STEM students from covered institutions for the Department’s programs on emerging capabilities and technologies.

Amendment 3: Cyber-attack Amendment (Section 1645, Page 1404)

  • The amendment requires the Secretary of Defense to provide the congressional defense committees a report on cyber-attacks and intrusions against the Department of Defense systems in the previous 12 months by agents or associates of the Governments of the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Critical additions within the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act are:

Repeal of the Gold Star Family Tax: It is critical that our Gold Star Families receive the full amount of every benefit they are entitled to. The Repeal of the Gold Star Family Tax does just that, ensuring that the 65,000 surviving spouses subject to this tax can receive the full payout of V.A. programs and DOD programs. Gold Star families who have already sacrificed so much for our nation should not face this undue burden.

Paid Family Leave For Federal Employees: The United States is the only country that does not guarantee paid family leave to its citizens. Today, we take a big step towards that reality, by ensuring paid family leave for 2.1 million federal employees. Paid family leave is more than an investment in our nation’s workers—it is an investment in all of our futures.

Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act: The human rights abuses being committed in Syria by Bashar al-Assad are deplorable and inexcusable. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act holds top officials of the Assad regime accountable for their actions by imposing harsh sanctions. While we may never achieve real justice for the Syrian people, this bill is a step in the right direction.

Improving Military Housing: For our servicemembers to protect us to the best of their abilities, they must have housing that is clean and habitable. The improvements to military housing policy in the NDAA ensures our servicemembers a “tenant’s bill of rights.” The bill also provides housing advocates with more direct oversight of the conditions our servicemembers live in on base.

Protecting DREAMers In The Military: Over 800 DACA recipients proudly serve in the United States military. Currently, more than 500 of them are active duty. Hundreds have risked their lives overseas to protect our freedoms at home; hundreds more are still waiting to start their basic training. And yet, while these brave men and women are risking their lives for us, their entire livelihood is being thrown into limbo. We must protect our DREAMers in the military—like they are already protecting us.

Rep. Lou Correa represents California’s 46th Congressional District. He serves as Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, and as the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. Read more here.