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House Passes Waltz-Sponsored Priorities of Space Force, Gold Star Families and Prohibiting Venezuela Contracting in 2020 NDAA

Washington, December 11, 2019
Tags: Defense

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes several of Rep. Michael Waltz’s priorities, including a Space Force, enhancing benefits for Gold Star families and prohibiting contracts with the Department of Defense for companies conducting business with the Maduro regime in Venezuela.

“This year’s defense bill is full of wins for our service members and their families,” Waltz, a Green Beret and member of the House Armed Services, said. “From protecting our assets in space to providing for our Gold Star families, this final report is something we should be proud of. Our brave men and women in our military give every fiber of their being for our freedom and this package conveys our deepest gratitude for their sacrifices.”

The FY 2020 NDAA supports a topline of $738 billion, consistent with the recent bipartisan budget agreement.

The report also contains several Waltz-supported proposals, including:

  • Authorizing the U.S. Space Force as a true 6th branch of the military, recognizing space as a warfighting domain
  • Waltz/Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) amendment prohibiting defense contracts to companies conducting business with the Maduro regime in Venezuela
  • Waltz amendment reimbursing Gold Star families for the costs of transporting a fallen servicemembers' remains to a national cemetery
  • Expanding Pentagon’s civilian childcare assistance program to legal guardians of children of fallen service members killed in combat
  • 3.1 percent pay increase for troops, the largest pay increase in a decade
  • Three-year phase-out of Widow’s Tax
  • Better Military Housing Act (Tenant Bill of Rights), which sets minimum acceptable livability standards for military and their families
  • Directing the Air Force to coordinate with Special Operations Command on options for procurement of light attack aircraft
  • Directing Secretaries of Defense and State to ensure Afghan women are included in peace negotiations
  • Authorizing 4,000 new visas for Afghan allies and extending the application period through 2021

“I am grateful to the House and Senate conferees for reaching this important agreement and to the House for passing this bill,” Waltz said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this package swiftly so we can send this package to NDAA and give our military all the tools they need to be successful.”

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