Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) yesterday voted to pass H.R. 4350, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 (NDAA). The bipartisan legislation contains key wins for the Hudson Valley, including provisions to protect military communities from PFAS chemicals.
“As the son of a veteran, I have made it a priority in Congress to honor those who serve this great nation,” said Rep. Maloney. “I am proud to vote for this bipartisan defense deal with big wins for Hudson Valley servicemembers, veterans, and families. From a pay raise for members of the military to a historic investment in research and development to prepare our defense for the battlefields of the future, this package keeps our country safe and honors our responsibility to servicemembers and their families.”
The NDAA includes key provisions to protect communities from dangerous PFAS “forever” chemicals. The bill will require the Department of Defense to adhere to stricter standards for clean-up, complete and disclose PFAS testing, and prohibit the procurement of PFAS-containing items. This will help prevention and mitigation efforts at PFAS contamination sites, like the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.
The bill also makes essential changes to better combat sexual assault in the military, including removing the Commander from decisions related to the prosecution of sexual assault crimes and instead creating an Office of Special Victim Prosecutor to prosecute these crimes.
The National Defense Authorization Act:
- Requires a plan for the creation of a Minority Institute for Defense Research;
- Establishes an Office of Countering Extremism;
- Includes significant funding to promote academic partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities;
- Establishes a $15 minimum wage for covered DOD service and construction contracts;
- Contains multiple provisions to address strategic challenges posed by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC);
- Gives the D.C. Mayor control of the D.C. National Guard for the first time in history;
- Contains $500 million in DOD relocation support for Afghan SIV holders;
- Increases the allowable parental leave for primary and secondary caregivers, including foster parents;
- Expands the in-home child care pilot program, providing financial assistance for in-home child care;
- Makes historic changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice in order to better combat sexual assault in the military.