WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted to pass the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In addition to funding important military priorities, the legislation includes language Senator Capito championed that would address the issue with the Big Springs Water Plant in Martinsburg. Senator Capito issued the following statement after the vote:

“Our men and women in uniform make tremendous sacrifices for our nation, and we must ensure they have the resources they need to be successful. This defense funding legislation will help strengthen our national security and support our troops by providing them with critical resources, equipment, and training. I was also glad to see language I championed to help resolve the Martinsburg water issue was included in the NDAA. It is essential that we continue to invest in our brave servicemen and women who risk their lives to protect us day in and day out, and I proudly voted to do that by advancing the NDAA today.”

Martinsburg Language Background:

After concerns were raised that the Big Springs Water Plant in Martinsburg was contaminated by a chemical used by the U.S. Air Force and the West Virginia Air National Guard to fight fires, the city chose to shut down that water supply to prevent the consumption of contaminated drinking water. The city worked to fix the issue while still providing access to clean water for residents and businesses. However, questions have been raised about financial responsibility for the project.

Senator Capito worked with the city of Martinsburg and the U.S. Department of Defense to coordinate an agreement that would enable the city to reopen the Big Springs Water Plant and convened numerous calls and meetings on the issue. During the drafting of the FY2019 NDAA, Senator Capito worked with Senate Armed Services Committee leaders on language that would make it possible for DOD to reimburse the city of Martinsburg for rehabilitation costs it incurred as it worked to reopen Big Springs. That language was included in the version of the legislative text introduced earlier this month and was approved by the Senate today.

NDAA Highlights: 

  • Includes $716 billion in funding for our nation’s defense.
  • Gives troops a 2.6 percent pay raise—the largest pay raise for our service members in nearly 10 years.
  • Aligns policies and resources to implement the Trump administration’s National Defense Strategy.
  • Modernizes the military’s rigid, outdated officer personnel management system to increase the lethality and adaptability of the force.
  • Invests in emerging technologies to ensure our troops have the tools they need to carry out successful missions.
  • Reforms the Department of Defense to empower strong civilian leadership to make difficult choices about strategy.

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