Kiggans Applauds Committee Passage of FY25 NDAA

Legislation includes historic quality of life investments

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement applauding the passage of H.R. 8070, the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement Act and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25), out of the House Armed Services Committee. The legislation, which passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 57-1, now heads to the House floor for consideration.

“At a time when our world grows more dangerous every day, America needs to prioritize our warfighters no matter if they are here at home or deployed abroad,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I’m proud that my colleagues and I were able to work together to produce a bill that builds the ready, capable, and lethal fighting force we need to deter our adversaries, improves quality of life for our servicemembers, and revitalizes our defense industrial base. Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for our country…it is only right that provide them with the resources necessary to carry out their mission and a quality of life deserving of their service and sacrifice.” 

During the markup, Congresswoman Kiggans spoke to several key issues, including concerns about Executive Branch actions regarding the Middle East conflict and support for servicemember access to contraception. To watch the markup in its entirety, click here.

Background

The FY25 NDAA, which authorizes a total of $895 billion for national defense discretionary programs, would invest a historic $5 billion in improvements to servicemembers’ quality of life, help deter China’s aggression, keep the F-35 program accountable by prioritizing software advancement, and require the procurement of a second Virginia-class submarine. Highlights of the legislation include but are not limited to:

Improving our Servicemembers Quality of Life

  • Servicemember Compensation
  • Increases basic pay for junior enlisted servicemembers by 15%.
  • Ensures the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) covers 100% of the calculated rate for the military housing area and reduce errors in BAH calculations.
  • Makes the Basic Needs Allowance available to servicemembers with dependents with a gross household income less than 200% of federal poverty guidelines.
  • Servicemember Housing
  • Requires the President’s budget to identify the cost to fully fund the Facilities, Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (FSRM) account and reduce the backlog of required maintenance. 
  • Pursues public-private partnerships to build new and renovate existing unaccompanied housing.
  • Requires DoD to designate personnel responsible for the oversight of unaccompanied housing.
  • Explores providing free wireless internet access to servicemembers in all unaccompanied housing facilities.
  • Access to Healthcare
  • Requires the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to submit a report on providing access to care data for all healthcare services available at each Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) with inpatient capabilities.
  • Expands access to specialty providers
  • Reevaluates hiring and retention authorities available for civilian medical providers.
  • Access to Childcare
  • Fully funds childcare fee assistance programs to eliminate fee assistance wait lists for eligible families.
  • Amends the law to ensure pay for childcare staff at DoD childcare centers is competitive with private industry.
  • Implements additional benefits for childcare providers, including requiring all military services to provide free childcare to the first child of a childcare provider in a DoD Child Development Program and authorize the services to cover up to 100% of childcare fees for any additional children.
  • Support for Military Spouses
  • Permanently authorizes the Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot which provides employment support to military spouses through a paid fellowship with employers across various industries.
  • Permanently grants authority to DoD to make transferring professional licenses between states easier for military spouses. 
  • Expands eligibility for Department of Defense Child Development Programs – both on and off-installation – for unemployed military spouses who are actively seeking employment.

Deterring China

  • Strengthening Seapower
  • Keeps the acquisition of new Virginia-class attack submarines on track by reversing President Biden’s budget request and adding a second Virginia-class. 
  • Fully funds the construction of new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarines.
  • Fully funds public shipyard modernization to improve Naval fleet readiness.
  • Rejects President Biden’s efforts to cut the number of cruisers.
  • Nuclear Deterrence
  • Fully funds the modernization of our aging nuclear triad and communications architecture.
  • Increases funding to continue development of the nuclear sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM-N).
  • Increases funding to restore nuclear weapons production capacity.
  • Preventing CCP Espionage
  • Protects laboratories that test U.S. military equipment from Chinese espionage.
  • Enhances the Army’s ability to identify and arrest spies in its ranks.
  • Removes China from the defense supply chain. 
  • Sustaining the Fight
  • Builds the logistics infrastructure needed to support prolonged military deployment across the Indo-Pacific.
  • Authorizes essential military construction projects to support and defend our servicemembers and projection forces.
  • Fully funds military exercises and readiness initiatives in the Indo-Pacific.

To learn more about the wins Congresswoman Kiggans secured for VA-02 in the legislation, click here.

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