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Senator Hassan Statement on Bipartisan Defense Spending Legislation, Includes Key Priorities Championed by Senator Hassan to Support New Hampshire and National Security

Agreement Includes Landmark Legislation Hassan Cosponsored to Provide 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave for More Than 2 Million Federal Workers Across the Country

WASHINGTON – Following the bipartisan agreement announced to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Senator Hassan released the following statement:

“Keeping Granite Staters and all Americans safe, secure, and free is my most important responsibility – and I am glad to have joined Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the aisle in moving forward this year’s national defense bill. New Hampshire plays a critical role in protecting our country’s national security, and I am proud that the agreement includes necessary investments in equipment and funding for the New Hampshire Air National Guard base at Pease and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.”

Senator Hassan continued, “I am also pleased that the bipartisan bill supports our service members, veterans, and their families, including a pay raise for our troops and a repeal of the Widow’s Tax, which unjustly cut benefits for surviving spouses. In addition, the agreement includes landmark legislation that I cosponsored to provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave to more than 2 million federal workers. And while I was disappointed that the agreement does not go further in addressing PFAS contamination, it does include key measures to protect fire fighters from PFAS as well as legislation I cosponsored, the Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act, that will improve efforts to identify and address PFAS contamination in New Hampshire and across the country.”

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