Costa Statement on Passage of Defense Spending Bill
(FRESNO, CA) – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“Strengthening our national security and keeping our country safe is more important than ever,” said Costa. “This bipartisan legislation takes important steps to ensure the U.S. military remains the strongest in the world, secures a pay raise for our hardworking service men and women, and helps our Vietnam veterans receive the coverage they deserve.”
This bipartisan bill includes the following provisions:
- Gives Our Troops a Pay Raise & Protects Their Safety: Authorizes a 3-percent military pay raise, invests in housing improvements for military members and families, and improves sexual assault prevention and response measures.
- Cares For Our Veterans: Adopts an amendment co-sponsored by Rep. Costa that ensures medical coverage is provided to veterans exposed to Agent Orange who have bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, or Parkinsonism medical conditions.
- Helps military families: Expands paid parental leave for certain federal civilian employees.
- Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Supports a robust international response to the pandemic and urges additional cooperation with our NATO allies.
- Addresses Removing the Names of Confederates from Military Bases: Establishes an independent commission to examine the names associated with military installations and provides a process to remove those of individuals who voluntarily served the Confederacy during the Civil War.
- Encourages More Diverse Military: Creates the role of Chief Diversity Officer for the Department of Defense and a Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusions for each Military Service.