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National Defense Bill with Key NH Provisions Signed Into Law

**Defense bill includes ban on PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam, continued funding for health impact study and Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to expedite analysis of water contaminants including PFAS**

**Bill provides 3.1 percent pay raise to service members, phases out the “Widow’s Tax” and includes Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to provide support to military spouses**

**Bill prioritizes role of Pease and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard**

**Bill includes Legislation Shaheen Cosponsored to Crack Down on Fentanyl Coming from China & Mexico**

**Shaheen Successfully Added her Bipartisan Bill with Senator Hoeven to Improve FAA Hiring of Air Traffic Controllers**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee which authors the annual defense bill, issued the following statement after the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Shaheen helps write the defense bill every year and successfully included a number of her provisions in this year’s bill that prioritize New Hampshire and a strong national defense. 

“As our committee wrote this bill, delivering on important New Hampshire priorities was my top concern. I’m glad we were able to do just that, including necessary investments in our state’s military readiness at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Pease Air National Guard base, and addressing several other key issues Granite Staters care about,” said Shaheen. “Now that this legislation is law, critical work will soon be underway to enhance our federal response to PFAS exposure, provide financial relief to military families, bolster our national security and much more. The annual defense bill provides a valuable opportunity to make real progress on bipartisan issues and I’m glad that this year Congress continued to make good on that effort.” 

Regarding the PFAS provisions in the legislation, Shaheen added: 

“This bill makes important progress on our efforts to combat PFAS exposure— continuing the health impact study and phasing out the use of PFAS in Department of Defense firefighting foam—but more work is urgently needed to ensure no family fears the safety of their drinking water,” said Shaheen. “I’ll continue to work across the aisle, and with our state and local partners, to improve accountability and transparency to stop PFAS exposure and hold those who pollute responsible.” 

On her bipartisan provision with Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) to support military spouses and ease regulations hindering the transfer of occupational licensing and small business registration from state to state: 

“Military families make significant sacrifices on behalf of our country, so if we have the opportunity to make things a little easier for them, we need to seize it,” said Shaheen. “This new law cuts through the red tape hindering military spouses from practicing their professions or restarting their businesses as they move with their families around the country. I’m relieved for military families that this measure is now the law of the land and will work closely with the administration to make sure it is implemented comprehensively. I appreciate the support from members on both sides of the aisle to include this commonsense fix in the defense bill and provide support to military spouses, and I offer my sincerest thanks to our military families for their continued service to our nation.” 

Senator Shaheen on  bipartisan legislation she cosponsored to crack down on fentanyl coming from China and Mexico: 

“More than 80 percent of the total drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire in 2018 were due to fentanyl or fentanyl combined with other drugs. This crisis should have Congress’ undivided attention,” said Shaheen. “As our law enforcement and other first responders tackle this crisis from the frontlines, it’s critical that Congress back them up with the resources they need, and that the U.S. government take meaningful action to hold traffickers and their sponsors to account by imposing sanctions and increasing enforcement. Seeing this legislation through Congress and signed into law is a big step forward.” 

Shaheen’s comments on the phase out of the military “widow’s tax” that affects as many as 65,000 military spouses nationwide: 

“The last thing that military spouses should have to deal with after losing a loved one is an unjust reduction in income,” said Shaheen. “This bipartisan reform finally provides the surviving spouses of our servicemen and women with the full benefits and financial assistance to which they’re entitled. I’m glad we were able to work across the aisle to take this important step on behalf of military families.”  

And on her bipartisan legislation with Senator Hoeven to improve FAA hiring of air traffic controllers: 

“Our nation’s air traffic controllers are essential to keeping our skies and passengers safe, so it’s critical that the Federal Aviation Administration has all of the tools necessary to build this dedicated workforce,” said Shaheen. “Our bipartisan measure will streamline the FAA hiring process and ensure the most qualified individuals are selected to serve as air traffic controllers. I’m glad to have helped secure this bipartisan provision in the NDAA and appreciate Senator Hoeven’s partnership on this effort.” 

Read more here about Senator Shaheen’s priorities that were included in the FY 2020 NDAA.