Press Releases

Rep. Wexton Votes for a Smart and Strong National Defense

The House-passed NDAA supports Virginia’s economy and military families

Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which builds a strong national defense and prioritizes American servicemembers. The bill includes an amendment authored by Congresswoman Wexton to support intelligence servicemembers transitioning into the public sector workforce.

“This year’s defense bill meets our national security challenges through a smart and responsible approach,” said Congresswoman Wexton. “Perhaps most important, it takes key steps to support our servicemembers, including much needed provisions to ensure safe housing for our military families and the largest pay raise in a decade for our troops. This bill will greatly benefit Virginia’s economy and our military families.”

The bill included a number of Congresswoman Wexton’s legislative priorities, including:

Supporting Military Families

  • A 3.1% pay raise for servicemembers -- the largest military pay raise in ten years;
  • Twelve weeks of paid family medical leave for all federal workers, covering 2.1 million employees across the country;
  • A reversal of anti-LGBTQ policies that ban transgender individuals from military service;
  • A repeal of the “Widow’s Tax,” guaranteeing surviving military families the full range of benefits that they deserve;
  • Expanded protections and services for survivors of sexual assault;
  • The establishment of a much-needed tenant bill of rights outlining protections for residents in private military family housing and improvements to ensure clean drinking water on military bases.

Workforce Development

  • A provision authored by Rep. Wexton in support of intelligence servicemembers transitioning into the public sector workforce. More information on the amendment can be found here;
  • The blocking of the proposed merger of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration (GSA), helping to protect the independence of the federal government’s civil service;
  • Funding for key Virginia shipbuilding priorities, supporting Virginia jobs.

National Security

  • The authorization of a total of $733 billion for FY2020, the most robust defense budget in history;
  • Requirements for DOD to address climate change and fund mitigation activities;
  • Regular congressional briefings on Russian election interference and a national security strategy to counter foreign influence in the 2020 elections;
  • Prohibition of war with Iran without congressional approval as well as a repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq;
  • A requirement to submit to Congress a determination of the parties responsible for the premeditated murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi;
  • Blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia in order to cut off support for the Saudi war in Yemen and help end the famine and ongoing humanitarian crisis;
  • Improved government ethics and accountability by prohibiting the President and their Cabinet from personally profiting off the office they hold.

The NDAA that passed today will go to conference along with the Senate version of the bill before final approval.