Hudson Praises Gains for Troops, Fort Bragg in National Defense Bill
September 23, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), Fort Bragg's Congressman and a voice for veterans, praised pay raises for troops, investments for Fort Bragg, and other provisions in the FY 22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which passed the U.S. House of Representatives today.
"This is not a perfect bill but overall it is a win for our troops, military families and veterans," said Rep. Hudson. "I am proud to have sponsored several provisions included to fund needed investments in our military and bases like Fort Bragg. Like last year, I now look forward to ensuring troubling provisions are removed as negotiations continue."
The NDAA provides an overall 2.7% pay increase for servicemembers. Additionally, Rep. Hudson worked to secure several key provisions for active-duty servicemembers, military families and veterans. A breakdown is found below.
Representative Hudson's Priorities Secured in the NDAA
Military Family Readiness/ Education/ Healthcare
- Includes the Counting Overlooked Base Impact Aid (COBIA) Act, introduced by Rep. Hudson and Rep. Rob Wittman in July.
- Ensures schools educating service-connected children receive the full sum of federal Impact Aid to which they are currently entitled.
- Authorizes an increase in funding of $70 million for Impact Aid — $50 million for supplemental Impact Aid and $20 million for Impact Aid for military children with severe disabilities.
- Requires a report on the Preservation of the Force and Family Program (POTFF) for Special Operations Forces (SOF).
- The report will provide progress of implementation for SOF.
- The report will include plans for improvement to POTFF to better address needs of the SOF community.
- Requires a report to modernize the Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) calculation for military families.
- Mandates a review of the Military Health System's blast injury policy to include Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Directs the DoD to standardize definitions and tracking of suicide attempts and suicidal behavior across all military services.
- Includes an independent analysis of DoD Comprehensive Autism Care Demonstration Program under TRICARE.
- Reduces the threshold amount for Base Commander's Military Construction (MILCON) project funding approval. Current law requires Secretary-level approval.
- By allowing projects below $2 million to be approved at a lower level, this will allow bases – such as Fort Bragg – to do routine maintenance, upgrade projects, and smaller MILCON projects much easier and faster.
FY2022 Military Construction for Fort Bragg
- Total funding: $27.2 million
- Emergency Water System - $7.7 million
- MW Microgrid Utilizing Existing and New Generators - $19.5 million
- Meets several priorities identified by Rep. Hudson in testimony to the Appropriations Committee in May.
- Requires the DoD to publish results of drinking and groundwater PFAS testing conducted on or near military installations or former defense sites.
- Requires the DoD to review current practices to prevent or mitigate Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) spills and develop best practices for spill prevention and mitigation.
- Increases transparency and facilitates information-sharing with defense communities impacted by PFAS contamination.
- Requires DoD to offer PFAS exposure evaluation and testing for servicemembers who wants it as part of their annual exam.
End Strength/ Pay and Compensation
- Authorizes active duty end strength levels (U.S. Army: 485,000)
- Provides a 2.7% pay increase for servicemembers
- Provides a basic needs allowance for low-income servicemembers
Military Justice and Sexual Assault
- Ensures that survivors of sexual assault are notified of the outcomes of any administrative action taken against their perpetrator.
- Requires that the Secretary of Defense provide to victims a list of approved civilian victim service organizations from which a victim may seek additional legal assistance, legal representation, or other related services.
Issues:Defense & National Security