Rep. Sherrill Votes for a Responsible, Strong National Defense Authorization Act
Washington, DC – Today, Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 in the House Armed Service Committee:
“I’m proud to vote for a responsible defense bill that strengthens our national security and provides for our women and men serving in uniform,” said Representative Sherrill. “The legislation includes provisions I’ve authored to support Picatinny Arsenal’s critical role in our national defense and boost advance manufacturing jobs and research in New Jersey, while improving oversight and accountability of the Department of Defense. The bill also includes a new ability for the armament school to issue graduate degrees to better reflect the world-class education available at Picatinny.”
Key elements of three bipartisan bills Representative Sherrill authored were included in the NDAA:
- Armament Graduate School Act (H.R. 2880)
- Securing American Science and Technology Act of 2019 (H.R. 3038)
- U.S.-Israel Indirect Fire Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 3186)
Strengthening Picatinny Arsenal
Picatinny Arsenal, located in the 11th District of New Jersey, is the Army’s premier center of excellence for the development of armaments and management of ammunition and executes many of the Army’s top modernization priorities. It is the largest employer in the district 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 in support of our nation’s defense:
- $164M to develop Long Range Precision Fires, the Army’s top modernization priority.
- $214M for the Army to develop the 155mm Self-Propelled Howitzer.
- $19.2M for the Army’s acquisition of the Next Generation Squad Weapon.
- $5M for the Army to develop advanced munitions with greater range and increased lethality.
- $3M to support the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command at Picatinny Arsenal.
- Supported the research and development of additive manufacturing and light-weight ammunition through partnerships with Picatinny Arsenal.
- Urged the Army to ensure investment in the infrastructure of military labs like Picatinny Arsenal and to provide a master plan of how it will modernize the workforce and capabilities of its Science and Technology Reinvention Labs.
Boosting Manufacturing and Research Jobs in the 11th District
- $25M for the Navy’s unfunded requirement to procure 25 additional Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles.
- $5M for the Navy to certify Advance Manufacturing processes for submarine 3-D printed components.
- $53M to develop radio frequency countermeasures on Special Forces’ C-130 aircraft.
- Directed the Navy to identify additional critical gaps in their communications network capabilities and resolve them through joint broadband networks.
Improving Department of Defense Auditing and Accountability
- Required the Navy to brief Congress on successful efforts to reduce ship-repair costs and implement enhanced internal controls over financial management.
- Directed the Defense Department to provide a strategic roadmap of ongoing efforts to make all defense spending fully auditable within five years.
- Required an annual report ranking each of the military departments and defense agencies in order of how advanced they are in achieving unmodified audit opinions.
Supporting Servicemembers, Veterans, and Their Families
- Supported a 3.1 percent military pay raise for our servicewomen and men.
- Ensured periodic health assessments and physical examinations related to exposure to burn pits, toxic airborne chemicals, and other airborne contaminants.
- Required the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide blood testing to DoD firefighters to determine potential exposure to harmful perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
- Urged improved workforce diversity by requiring an analysis of critical skillsets of Department of Defense employees, including the representation of minorities and women.
- Supported several provisions to strengthen military sexual assault prevention, including requiring civilian notification of a military protective order issued against a member of the Armed Forces.
- Improved DoD/VA collaboration in the Women’s Health Transition Training pilot program.