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PASSED THE SENATE: Annual Defense Bill with Key Hassan-Backed Provisions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate passed the final bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024, which includes key national security provisions that Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) secured and supported. The bill includes a 5.2 percent pay raise for U.S. service members and specifically includes bipartisan measures that Senator Hassan authored to provide parental leave parity for Reserve and National Guard members and prepare for emerging national security threats posed by quantum technology.

“We must do everything that we can to support our service members and their mission to protect our national security,” said Senator Hassan. “This bipartisan bill includes measures to get our service members the pay and benefits they deserve, invests in New Hampshire’s military institutions, and will help keep our country safe, secure, and free.”

“I am also pleased that the final version of this year’s defense bill includes my bipartisan bill to provide paid leave parity for those in the National Guard and Reserves, as well as my bipartisan bill to prepare for threats posed by quantum technology,” said Senator Hassan. “Parental leave should be available to all new parents, and service members in the Reserves and the National Guard should have the same access to parental leave as those serving on active duty – this bill will ensure that is the case. Additionally, quantum technology has major national security implications, including the potential for our adversaries to use it to decrypt encrypted messages and data, and my bipartisan bill will expand our country’s efforts to stay ahead of our adversaries and respond to these threats while taking advantage of the opportunities presented by quantum technology.”

Key measures that Senator Hassan supported that are included in the NDAA:

  • Senator Hassan’s bipartisan bill introduced with Senator Lisa Murkowski to expand parental leave eligibility for Reserve and National Guard members to cover all new parents.
    • The legislation included in the NDAA ensures that beginning October 2024, drilling members of the National Guard and Reserves can take the equivalent of up to 12 weeks of parental leave when adopting or fostering children, or when their spouse has a child, just as birth mothers and those serving on active duty are able to.   
  • Senator Hassan and Senator John Thune (R-SD)’s bipartisan measures to prepare for national security threats posed by emerging quantum technology. The provisions will:
    • Expand existing public-private talent exchange programs in the Defense Department to include private sector entities working on quantum technology research & applications
    • Authorize a fellowship program in the Defense Department for students focusing on quantum information science and technology research
  • Support for military spouses by allowing executive agencies to appoint spouses of service members to remote work positions, legislation that Senator Hassan cosponsored
  • Strengthening of our nation’s security posture by working more closely with allies and partners, including in the Indo-Pacific region, a priority of Senator Hassan’s
  • Improvements of addiction care resources for those serving in the military, including efforts to help expand access to naloxone and expanding research into alternatives to opioids for pain management
  • Prohibitions on military contracts with entities who have fossil fuel operations in Russia
  • Increased overtime pay rates for members of the U.S. Border Patrol

Support for NH priorities that are included in the NDAA:

  • Authorizing multiyear procurement for the next block of Virginia-class submarines, which are maintained at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • Support for the Multi-Mission Dry Dock Expansion at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • Multiple provisions to address PFAS contamination in military communities and continue studies into the health effects of PFAS