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Senator Hassan Votes to Approve Final National Defense Bill with Critical Priorities for New Hampshire

WASHINGTON – Senator Hassan released the following statement after the U.S. Senate today approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The bipartisan bill now heads to the President’s desk for a signature.


“This bipartisan national defense bill includes crucial measures to keep our country safe, secure, and free, as well as a number of New Hampshire-specific priorities, including critical investments for New Hampshire’s Air National Guard and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard,” Senator Hassan said.


Senator Hassan continued, “This bipartisan bill also includes a pay raise for our troops, as well as a repeal of the backward Widow’s Tax, which reduces benefits for the spouses of fallen service members. I am also pleased that this bill includes legislation I’ve cosponsored to provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave to more than 2 million federal workers. While the Administration and Congress urgently need to take additional action to combat PFAS contamination, I am pleased that this bipartisan bill does take a step forward in protecting fire fighters in particular from exposure to dangerous PFAS chemicals. I urge the President to sign this bipartisan legislation into law without delay.”


New Hampshire Priorities in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act:


  • Includes funding for the procurement of 2 Virginia-class submarines, naval vessels to be maintained by the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  • Authorizes 12 KC-46 Pegasus refueling tankers that will be based at Pease Air National Guard Base. Over the summer, Senator Hassan joined the arrival event for the first KC-46 at Pease
  • Provides $5.95 million in funding to establish a National Guard Readiness Center in Concord to enhance mission readiness for New Hampshire National Guard
  • Includes measures Senator Hassan advocated for to address PFAS contamination, including the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act cosponsored by Senator Hassan and introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a ban on firefighting foam that contains PFAS after October 2024, and additional funding for the nationwide PFAS health impact study in which Pease served as the model site
  • Authorizes a 3.1 percent pay raise for all U.S. military personnel
  • Includes legislation that Senator Hassan cosponsored to eliminate the Widow’s Tax, which repeals an unfair law that blocks surviving military spouses from receiving the benefits they deserve
  • Includes a provision cosponsored by Senator Hassan to provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave to federal employees
  • Strengthens efforts to prevent fentanyl trafficking to the U.S. from China, Mexico, and other countries
  • Includes provisions from legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to strengthen housing protections for service members and their families, addressing health, safety and environmental hazards in privatized military housing
  • Invests in the expansion of the national network of Manufacturing USA institutes to strengthen American manufacturing, which includes New Hampshire’s ARMI/BioFabUSA, a leader in bio-fabrication research, development, and manufacturing