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Congressman Gonzalez to Vote to Override President's NDAA Veto

Press Release

Date: Dec. 28, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15) will vote to override the President's veto of the H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.

Despite the overwhelming bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate, President Trump vetoed this bill. Congress has enacted bipartisan national defense authorization bills for 59 years in a row, and if this veto is overridden, it will be 60 consecutive years.

"President Trump is trying to do all he can to wreak the most havoc and stay relevant on his way out of office," said Congressman Gonzalez. "The President has vetoed a pay raise for our troops, vetoed our troops' ability to benefit from the new hazardous duty pay provisions, vetoed enhanced sexual assault prevention and response programs, and vetoed benefits for our Vietnam-era veterans, among other important provisions. This veto must be overridden for our service members and to protect our national security."

If the vote succeeds to override the President's veto in the House and Senate. The bipartisan NDAA will:

Provide Long-Overdue Benefits to Vietnam-Era Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange: The bill provides long-overdue benefits to Vietnam-Era veterans exposed to Agent Orange, including adding Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism to the list of diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange.
Authorize Hazardous Duty Pay for Service Members in Harm's Way: The conference report authorizes the Secretary of Defense to standardize payment of hazardous duty pay for the uniformed services, including the members of the Guard and National Reserve. It also increases Hazardous Duty Pay from $250 to $275 per month.
Provide A Pay Raise for the Troops: The conference report authorizes a 3.0 percent increase in basic pay for service members.
Strengthen Cybersecurity: The conference report includes extensive provisions to strengthen cybersecurity, including establishing a National Cyber Director within the Executive Office of the President and strengthening the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the Department of Homeland Security.
Take Steps to Further Protect Military Communities from PFAS: The conference report takes steps to further protect military communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including authorizing $1.4 billion for environmental remediation and BRAC accounts which support a range of remediation activities, to include those related to PFAS, at current military installations, formerly utilized defense sites, and installations closed by BRAC.
Include the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act: The conference report includes the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act, passed ty the House in January 2019, which strengthens equal employment opportunity protections for federal employees and strengthens prohibitions against discrimination and retaliation against whistleblowers.
Not Backfill of the Military Construction Funds Taken for President's Border Wall: The conference report does not authorize any backfill of military construction funds taken for the President's border wall.
Constrain Executive Overreach Relating to Emergency Military Construction Authority and Deployment of Military Personnel to the Southern Border: The conference report imposes constraints on emergency military construction authority and on the authority of the military to deploy military personnel to the southern border.
Improve Identification of Federal Law Enforcement Personnel Responding to Civil Disturbances: The conference report includes a provision requiring each member of a federal law enforcement agency, the Armed Forces, or National Guard responding to a civil disturbance to display visibly the individual's name and name of the individual's organization.
Require Improvements in Military Housing: The conference report takes several steps to improve military housing, including updating minimum health and safety standards for all military base housing, repealing a provision that currently allows DOD to place families in substandard housing units, and requiring DOD to implement Comptroller General recommendations for improvement of military family housing.