Senate Sends National Defense Bill with Key Shaheen-Authored Provisions to President’s Desk

December 17, 2019

**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 a pay raise to service members, eliminates 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 Shaheen’s Legislation to Crack Down on Fentanyl Coming from China & Mexico**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee which authors the annual defense bill, issued the following statement after the Senate passed the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), annual defense legislation that authorizes national defense programs and priorities for the year. 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.

The bill has passed both chambers of Congress and will be sent to the President to be signed into law.

“As a senior member of the committee that writes this bill, I’m very pleased that the many important provisions responding to New Hampshire concerns and the needs of our military families will soon become law,” said Shaheen. “I appreciate the bipartisan effort that went into crafting this legislation to increase pay for our service members, provide financial relief to military families, boost investments in our state’s role in support of our national defense and much more. Now that Congress has done its job, I urge the President to move expeditiously and sign this legislation into law.” 

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 to support military spouses and ease regulations hindering the transfer of occupational licensing and small business registration from state to state:

“Our military families make enormous sacrifices on behalf of our country, so if we have the opportunity to help make things a little easier for them, we need to seize it,” said Shaheen. “Military spouses face serious challenges starting over in new communities, which are exacerbated when they have to jump through hoops to re-establish their professions. This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense fix to a bureaucratic problem that hinders military spouses from practicing their professions or restarting their businesses as they move with their families throughout the country. I look forward to this bipartisan fix soon becoming law.”

Shaheen’s comments on the elimination 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.” 

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