WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today issued the below statement after voting in support of the conference report to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA), a bipartisan compromise combining the House- and Senate-passed versions of the NDAA. The conference report passed the Senate by an 86-8 vote and now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.

The legislation, which will support our troops, strengthen the military, and enhance national security, also includes bipartisan language Senator Capito authored and secured in the bill to address the risks and challenges associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“Determining our nation’s defense spending priorities is one of Congress’ primary responsibilities, and a responsibility that should be taken seriously. This legislation supports our troops and their families, strengthens our military, and ensures our national defense, and I was proud to vote in favor of this legislation. While I was proud that several of my measures remained in the final version of this bill through the conference negotiations, I was very disappointed that House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee disagreed with bipartisan language I authored with Senator Gillibrand to ensure Americans have access to clean drinking water that is free of PFAS, ultimately deciding to eliminate it from the final text. Addressing the risk of harmful effects that certain PFAS pollutants can have on individuals is something on which we should all be able to find common ground. This is an issue that has affected many in West Virginia, and something I have been focused on tackling. Moving forward, I will continue to work on this issue and find other avenues that we can take to make sure these vital drinking water protections are addressed.”


Senator Capito’s PFAS measure included in the FY2020 NDAA is based on the PFAS Release Disclosure Act (S. 1507), a bill she led to provide a clear process for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify and share with the public and policymakers sources of PFAS emissions around the country, while respecting the formal rulemaking processes and scientific approach.

It also includes additional measures that would require the EPA to:

  • Issue a section 8(a) data call to PFAS manufacturers under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • Finalize its 2015 Significant New Use Rule on long-chain PFAS under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • Issue guidance on how to dispose of and destroy PFAS.

Additional items included in the NDAA that Senator Capito co-sponsored are below:

  • Transit Infrastructure from Chinese Threats Act, which would prevent federal transit dollars from being used to procure subway cars, other passenger railcars, and transit buses from Chinese state-owned, controlled or subsidized enterprises, with limited exception.
  • Fentanyl Sanctions Act, which would impose sanctions with respect to foreign traffickers of illicit opioids, and for other purposes.

Additional NDAA highlights include:

  • Provides for our national defense by authorizing $750 billion in funding.
  • Supports our troops by providing 3.1 percent pay raise—the largest in a decade—reforming privatized military housing, addressing sexual misconduct and retaliation against victims, improving access to and quality of health care, and increasing employment opportunities for military spouses.
  • Advances U.S. security by countering competition from near-peer adversaries like Russia and China and defeating threats from rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea, as well as terrorist organizations.
  • Restores our combat advantage by continuing to rebuild readiness and modernize the military, investing in innovation to keep the U.S. competitive—including 5G networks, cybersecurity, hypersonic weapons, and missile defense—and establishing a U.S. Space Force under the Air Force.
  • Builds a more efficient, effective Pentagon by improving contracting processes and oversight; expanding the capacity, innovation, and integrity of the defense industrial base, including small businesses; and continuing implementation of reforms to ensure taxpayer dollars are used responsibly.
  • Eliminates the military widow’s tax.
  • Extends Tricare Reserve Select to certain Reservists who are currently covered under a federal health benefits plan.
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all federal civilian employees.
  • Preserves the U.S. Navy’s plan to procure 10 Virginia-class attack submarines. Multiple West Virginia steel producers are contributing to these submarines.
  • Authorizes funds for Israeli missile defense.

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