Kiggans Scores Big Wins for Hampton Roads in National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, DC: Yesterday, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) secured critical provisions directly benefiting Hampton Roads in the fiscal year 2025 (FY25) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Following a 12 hour-long mark up during which the Committee debated and voted on hundreds of amendments, the legislation passed out of the House Armed Service Committee (HASC) by a bipartisan vote of 57-1. 

“I came to Congress to advocate for our men and women in uniform and ensure our military remains the best in the world,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I’m proud to have secured several provisions in this bill that will provide our servicemembers with better housing and greater access to childcare, boost our local ship repair industry, and increase the resources our Armed Forces need to be ready for to tonight. As a former Navy helicopter pilot, military spouse, and mother to children who serve, I will always be a loud voice for our military community in Hampton Roads and across the country…!”

“As a veteran, Rep. Kiggans knows firsthand the challenges that military families face,” Chairman Mike Rogers (AL-03) said. “Rep. Kiggans is a tireless advocate for our servicemembers and their families. She fought hard to ensure that the FY25 NDAA is focused on improving the quality of life for military families. Thanks to Rep. Kiggans’ leadership, the FY25 NDAA provides for critical military construction projects and includes provisions that support the privatization of unaccompanied housing.”

The provisions Congresswoman Kiggans secured in the FY25 NDAA include but are not limited to:

Authorizing $54.8 Million for Local Military Construction Projects

  • $6.83 million for child development centers at both Naval Air Station Oceana and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.
  • $15.93 million for unaccompanied housing at Naval Air Station Oceana.
  • $32 million for SOF Human Performance Training Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Improving Servicemembers’ Quality of Life 

  • Requires a feasibility study to provide free wireless internet access in servicemembers’ living quarters.
  • Requires a review of bonuses and retention allowances for childcare workers to combat shortfalls in staffing resulting in longer wait times for military families who need childcare.
  • Requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop and implement a strategy to provide new privatized unaccompanied housing and authorizes $45 million to carry it out.
  • Requires a biennial report on the condition of OCONUS unaccompanied housing facilities.
  • Creates a pilot program to evaluate how the Basic Allowance for Housing rate is calculated.

Boosting Hampton Roads’ Ship Repair Industry

  • Requires the Navy to change its current practice of soliciting ship repair contracts on a coast-wide basis from availabilities longer than 10 months to only those that are projected to last more than 18 months. This will stabilize the workforce and investment challenges currently confronting Hampton Roads’ ship repair industry, reduce the likelihood of separation for sailors and their families stationed in Hampton Roads, and maintain flexibility for the Navy to utilize market competition to repair its fleet. 

Increasing Access to the TAP Program

  • Authorizes the participation of state Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) in the Transition Assistance Program. This will allow VSOs to expand their outreach to newly retiring servicemembers, connecting them with job opportunities in the Commonwealth.

Improving TRICARE Reimbursements to Cancer and Children’s Hospitals

  • Requires DoD to consider the adequacy of the TRICARE network and availability of specialized healthcare services when considering payment adjustments to certain providers.

Overall, the FY25 NDAA, which authorizes a total of $895 billion for national defense discretionary programs, will help deter China’s aggression, keep the F-35 program accountable by prioritizing software advancement, require the procurement of a second Virginia-class submarine, and includes $5 billion in improvements to servicemembers’ quality of life.

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