06.27.19

Senate Passes Annual Defense Authorization Bill to Support Troops, Strengthen Military

Capito secures PFAS, clean drinking water, carbon capture measures in FY2020 NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today voted in support of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA), bipartisan legislation to support our troops, strengthen the military, and enhance national security. The legislation 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) and ensure Americans have access to clean drinking water. Additionally, it also includes the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, bipartisan legislation Senator Capito introduced to incentivize carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) and encourage innovation in the use of energy resources. 

Senator Capito issued the below statements after the Senate passed the NDAA by a vote of 86 to 8.

On passage of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“Ensuring our military has the tools and adequate funding needed to carry out its core mission is one of Congress’ primary responsibilities. This legislation supports our troops and their families, strengthens our military, and ensures our national defense. I was also glad to introduce several amendments to the bill that will make it even better for West Virginians and others around the country. I was proud to vote in favor of this critical bill that is good for our troops, their families, and national security.”

On inclusion of Senator Capito’s PFAS measure:

“I’m also so proud that this legislation includes language I authored to address the PFAS challenges our country is facing. PFAS pollution has created significant public health challenges across the country, and it’s time that we formulated a commonsense, yet effective, national response. As the Environmental Protection Agency has moved slowly with its own efforts to address PFAS concerns, this measure will help us take responsible and measured legislative action to protect the health of Americans across the country, as well as the environment. This is an important step in laying the foundation for a PFAS response, and I will continue leading the way toward a broader PFAS strategy.”

On inclusion of the USE IT Act:

“The USE IT Act embodies how innovation, not regulation, is the right way to tackle environmental issues. Carbon capture technologies are essential to reducing emissions while protecting jobs. I’m proud of this work from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and I’m proud to see it pass the Senate with bipartisan support.” 

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.

More information on the FY2020 NDAA is available here.

BACKGROUND

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.

If enacted, this legislation would be the first time Congress has set a primary drinking water standard for a contaminant since 1996.

It also includes additional measures that would: 

  • Set a national primary drinking water regulation for PFAS based at a minimum on PFOA and PFOS under the Safe Drinking Water Act and provide financial assistance to rural systems to reduce PFAS in drinking water.
  • 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.

The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), which Senator Capito is a leader on, last week voted to advance a standalone version of the measure.

For a video of Senator Capito discussing the measure, click here.

For a video of Senator Capito speaking on the Senate floor in support of the NDAA, click here

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