Congresswoman Sherrill Delivers Wins for Picatinny Arsenal in National Defense Bill

December 11, 2019
Press Release
Three of Sherrill’s Bipartisan Bills Included in Conference Report for President Trump to Sign into Law

Washington, DC – Today, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) voted for the conference report of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. Representative Sherrill is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and her district includes Picatinny Arsenal, the U.S. Army’s Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition. This bipartisan, bicameral measure now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

“This year’s NDAA delivers for America, New Jersey, our men and women in uniform, and Picatinny Arsenal in particular,” said Representative Sherrill. “It ensures the Picatinny workforce has what it needs to continue making sure that our armed forces have a decisive advantage. As a Navy veteran, I understand the sacrifices made by our service members and their families, and this year’s NDAA keeps faith with them by providing a much-needed pay raise and by strengthening measures to hold DoD accountable.”

Representative Sherrill successfully included three of her bipartisan bills into the NDAA conference report, earning support across party lines in the House and the Senate:

Strengthening Picatinny Arsenal and Manufacturing Jobs in New Jersey’s 11th District

Picatinny Arsenal, one of the largest employers in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, is the Army’s premier center of excellence for the development of armaments and management of ammunition. Picatinny Arsenal executes many of the Army’s top modernization priorities and contributes more than $1 billion to New Jersey’s economy. Sherrill fought to strengthen Picatinny Arsenal so it will continue to provide world-class armaments and ammunition for our national defense:

  • $193M for the Army to develop the 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer;
  • $5M for the Army to develop 3-D printing techniques to enhance protection of soldiers and vehicles and shorten logistics pipelines; 
  • $164M to develop Long Range Precision Fires, the Army’s top modernization priority;
  • Urges DoD to invest in the infrastructure of military labs like Picatinny Arsenal and requires a master plan for how the Army will modernize the workforce and capabilities of its Science and Technology Reinvention Labs;
  • Authorizes the Armament Graduate School at Picatinny to issue degrees in armament engineering, strengthening the workforce and the Army’s capabilities;
  • Ensures robust support for Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile Procurement.

Improving Department of Defense Auditing and Accountability

  • Requires semiannual briefings on audit remediation plans;
  • Requires an annual report ranking each of the military departments and Defense Agencies in order of how well they have achieved clean audit opinions;
  • Requires DoD to submit a report to Congress on audit metrics. 

Supporting Service members, Veterans, and Their Families

  • Provides a 3.1 percent increase in military pay for all military service members, the largest pay increase in a decade;
  • Provides 12 weeks in paid family leave for federal employees;
  • Requires any periodic health assessments for service members to include an evaluation of whether they were stationed near burn pits and/or were exposed to toxic airborne chemicals;
  • Directs DoD to provide to the VA and Congress a list of all locations where DoD used burn pits, for the purposes of research, healthcare delivery, and disability compensation;
  • Repeals the “Widow’s Tax” to allow surviving families of service members to collect the payments they have earned;
  • Increases diversity among DoD’s science and technology workforce;
  • Protects survivors of military sexual assault, including establishing regulations for military service academy students who are victims of sexual assault and wish to transfer to another academy;
  • Authorizes $283 million for military construction projects that improve energy conservation efforts at military installations.