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Shaheen Helps Advance Annual Defense Bill, Secures New Hampshire & National Security Priorities

**Shaheen built on her years-long legacy of securing key New Hampshire priorities, as well as measures that address our nation’s top security challenges around the globe.**

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), helped advance the fiscal year (FY) 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill received bipartisan support and was approved by the Committee in a bipartisan vote. 
The NDAA authorizes Pentagon priorities and programs for the year. As a senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Shaheen is instrumental in fighting to include provisions that both address our top national security objectives and enhance New Hampshire’s role in support of our national defense. 
“Keeping America safe, strong and secure demands bipartisan consensus and collaboration in Congress. The annual defense bill passed by those of us on the Senate Armed Services Committee this week reaffirms and demonstrates this bipartisan commitment,” said Shaheen. “New Hampshire plays an important role in support of our national defense. I fought to include legislation on a number of critical priorities for New Hampshire, such as securing resources for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and New Hampshire National Guard, accelerating cleanup of PFAS forever chemicals and investing in the Granite State’s defense industry.” 

The bill will now move to the full Senate before it is conferenced with the U.S. House of Representatives. Below is a summary of top New Hampshire and national security priorities secured by Shaheen in the FY 2025 NDAA. 

Critically, Senator Shaheen supported the inclusion of a 4.5 percent pay raise for service members and civilians to ensure military families receive the pay and benefits they deserve. 

Summary of New Hampshire Priorities in FY25 Committee-Passed NDAA

Investing in Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and New England’s Shipbuilding Workforce:  
Senator Shaheen built on her long legacy of support for New England’s shipbuilding industry and workforce, including through authorizing funding and workforce development for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The Committee-approved FY25 NDAA includes full authorization for the Shipbuilding Infrastructure Optimization Program (SIOP) projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which will expand the Shipyard’s capacity to maintain America’s fast-attack submarine fleet. As a member of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees, Senator Shaheen helped secure this funding beginning in the fiscal year 2019 funding legislation, which she has continued in ensuing years.   

In addition, the bill includes $1.13 billion in incremental funding for the Virginia-class submarines, which are repaired at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Senator Shaheen is a steadfast supporter of the Virginia-class program and is a fierce advocate for Shipyard priorities. Shaheen also helped secure $3.3 billion for Columbia-class submarine procurement and $6.2 billion in advanced procurement for the program.  

Shaheen also secured a five-year exemption to the Integrated Lodging Program for employees of public shipyards. The Integrated Lodging Program places significant burdens on shipyards’ ability to recruit and retain employees, and this exemption will provide certainty for employees that the Department of the Navy will provide the quality of lodging necessary for the shipbuilding workforce to perform essential work in support of national security requirements.  
Finally, the bill includes Shaheen’s legislation to extend direct hire authority to the Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair (SUPSHIP), which will give Navy the ability to fill these positions quickly and address workforce delays. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and members of the New Hampshire submarine industrial base will directly benefit from this provision through more effective and efficient engagement with SUPSHIP. 
Expanding Shaheen’s Historic PFAS Health Impact Study & Confronting Full Scope of Challenges Posed by ‘Forever Chemicals’: 
Senator Shaheen included $5 million to continue and expand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) PFAS health impact study that she established five years ago. Senator Shaheen leads efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS contamination. Because of her efforts, Pease is serving as a model site for the nationwide study.   

The bill also includes Senator Shaheen’s provisions requiring the Department of Defense to evaluate sites to identify early action to slow or stop the migration of PFAS, provide alternative water supplies where drinking water is contaminated and share the interim assessment with local government and impacted communities.  

These provisions build on a decade of Shaheen’s historic work to hold the Department of Defense responsible for remediation of PFAS contamination at military bases and ensure transparency for affected communities. The FY2024 NDAA included requirements for the Department of Defense to share how they intend to restore PFAS testing data with state regulators and impacted communities, like at Pease. It also included a provision requiring the Department to submit a separate budget justification to Congress to ensure investments in PFAS testing and remediation are used efficiently and effectively, as well as directing recurring reports on the Defense Department’s PFAS-related activities to increase oversight. Shaheen’s amendment to the FY2023 NDAA prohibited the Department of Defense from purchasing PFAS-laden firefighting turnout gear after October 1, 2026. This followed Shaheen led efforts to expand blood testing and treatment for firefighters exposed to PFAS and a similar amendment she secured to ban the use of PFAS-laden firefighting foam in the FY20 NDAA. Previously, as a lead negotiator of water provisions in the 2022 bipartisan infrastructure law, Shaheen secured record-level funding to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and address PFAS contamination.  
Supporting Jobs and the New Hampshire Defense Industry: 
Senator Shaheen successfully included a requirement for the Army to prioritize U.S.-based manufacturers for critical components of its Night Vision Device-Next devices, a binocular night vision goggle system that helps our warfighters remain the best fighting force in the world. Shaheen’s provision will promote continued investment in New Hampshire’s night vision manufacturing industrial base and ensure our soldiers have the technology they need to maintain a decisive advantage on the battlefield.  
Shaheen also worked to include additional funding for the procurement of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. Shaheen is a steadfast supporter of the F-35 program, which enhances U.S. national security and invests in New Hampshire’s economy and role in supporting our national defense. New Hampshire has 58 first-tier suppliers for the program. Shaheen also helped secure additional funding to procure F-15EX fighter aircraft.  
Supporting the National Guard and Addressing Sexual Assault in the National Guard: 
As co-chair of the bipartisan U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus, Senator Shaheen has long advocated on behalf of National Guard members and highlighted the invaluable service they provide to New Hampshire and the nation. This year, Shaheen successfully fought for a number of provisions to secure increased accountability and transparency for investigations into sexual assault cases in the National Guard. The NDAA includes Shaheen’s provision to require the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces (DAC-IPAD) to conduct a study on how the Committee’s historic 2021 reforms made to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) regarding sexual assault in the military can apply to the National Guard. The bill also includes Shaheen’s language to strengthen the Office of Complex Investigations (OCI), the National Guard Bureau’s administrative arm responsible for conducting reviews of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. The FY25 Committee-passed NDAA also includes provisions to address sexual assault in the active duty Armed Forces, including a provision to extend the Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces for an additional five years and a provision to remove marriage as a defense to rape and sexual assault.  
In addition to taking meaningful action to support survivors of sexual assault in the National Guard, Shaheen fought to ensure the New Hampshire National Guard retains its ability to carry out its mission. The FY25 Committee-passed NDAA includes Shaheen’s request to increase Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) end strength for the Air National Guard. The bill also includes an amendment authored by Shaheen that would prevent the National Guard Bureau from carrying out its harmful re-leveling initiative until reporting to Congress on the operational impacts. In May, the National Guard Bureau heeded Shaheen’s calls and granted New Hampshire an exemption to the re-leveling for one year. This new provision would codify that decision and require a report to Congress before implementation.  

In addition, Shaheen secured $2.8 billion for the procurement of 15 KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers, which are flown at Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire. Earlier this year, Shaheen traveled to the Indo-Pacific region, where she highlighted the recent acquisition of the KC-46 refueling tanker by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. Japan is the first international recipient of the KC-46 program, and the New Hampshire National Guard is leading the development of a training syllabus for Japan and other KC-46 foreign military sales partners. 

Supporting Jobs and Small Businesses in New Hampshire: 
Senator Shaheen added a provision expressing support for a five-year employee stock ownership (ESOP) pilot program in the FY22 NDAA. ESOP programs allow employees to own shares in the company and empower them within their roles and at the company. New Hampshire is a hub for manufacturing, and Granite State firms play a critical role in support of our national defense, where they have historically secured contracts through the Department of Defense. 
Shaheen also helped secure a pilot program that would provide advance funding for the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs within DOD. SBIR and STTR offer competitive opportunities for small businesses to engage with the federal government and receive awards to develop innovative technologies. The Shaheen-supported provision would allow the SBIR program to dispense awards earlier in the fiscal year than is currently happening, providing more robust and long-term support for participating small businesses.

Protecting Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Programs in New Hampshire: 

The Committee-passed bill includes Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Capito, the Preserving JROTC Programs Act. This would reduce the statutory enrollment requirement for JROTC programs from 100 to 50 students to prevent programs from shuttering. In New Hampshire, there are five Air Force JROTC programs. Two of them are currently on probation and another two are at risk of being put on probation due to current enrollment requirements. Nationally, there are more than 270 Air Force JROTC programs that do not meet the enrollment requirement.

Summary of National Security Priorities in FY25 Committee-Passed NDAA

Expanding Access to Child Care for Military Families: 
Senator Shaheen secured a provision to expand child care access for military families, directing the Department of Defense to support the recruitment and retention of providers in order to build a future child care workforce and make long-term investments in child care providers. The provision also authorizes the Department of Defense to enter into an interagency partnership with a federal agency, such as AmeriCorps, to place national service participants and volunteers trained in education services at military child care centers.  
This provision is based on bipartisan legislation Shaheen leads in the Senate, the Expanding Access to Child Care for Military Families Act, to support workforce development opportunities for child care providers and to add capacity to the child care sector. This builds on work Shaheen supported in the FY24 NDAA, which was signed into law last year and requires the Department of Defense to report to Congress on limited child care development center capacity and opportunities for improvement.  
Protecting Access to Contraception:  
In the FY25 Committee-passed NDAA, Shaheen secured an historic amendment to require that all women who receive health care through the military have access to FDA-approved contraception without insurance co-pays. This brings military health care in line with civilian health care, eliminating an undue financial burden for women and dependents in the military. The Shaheen amendment also requires the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive family planning education program for servicemembers to ensure families can make informed decisions about their future. Further, the Shaheen amendment guarantees that survivors of sexual assault in the military have access to emergency contraception. After overcoming more than a decade of obstruction on this amendment, the Shaheen provision was adopted on a bipartisan vote. 
Shaheen also helped secure an amendment to improve contraception counseling services for service members, including by mandating contraceptive counseling information in period health assessments for service members and including information on contraception in pre-deployment service forms. Shaheen built on her work from the FY16 and FY17 NDAAs, both of which were signed into law and required the Department of Defense to develop a comprehensive policy to ensure access to contraceptive counseling for service members and required the Department to conduct a survey on active-duty service women’s experiences with family planning services and counseling.  
Shaheen has been a leader in the U.S. Senate on expanding access to reproductive health care. For years, Shaheen has led the Access to Contraception for Service Members and Dependents Act to ensure military families receive the quality reproductive health care they deserve. In the aftermath of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, Shaheen also introduced legislation, the Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access to Health Care Act to ensure service members can access care when stationed in states that restrict access to basic reproductive rights, including abortion. 
Shaheen has repeatedly addressed the unique and adverse implications that anti-reproductive health care laws will have on servicewomen and military families. Shaheen led 31 of her Senate colleagues in a bipartisan letter urging the Department of Defense to ensure over-the-counter (OTC) birth control is available for service members and their families on military bases without a copay and without a prescription. 
Extending the Authorization of the Shaheen-Led Women, Peace and Security Law:

Shaheen successfully included a provision to extend the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act, bipartisan legislation written by Shaheen that was signed into law in 2017. Senator Shaheen’s provision in the FY25 Committee-passed NDAA ensures the Department of Defense is able to continue its security cooperation with foreign partners, giving America a strategic advantage over adversaries who devalue women’s participation in conflict resolution and political-military affairs. The provision also authorizes the continued implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda within the Department of Defense, which requires women’s participation and gender analysis to be incorporated into security cooperation programs carried out by the Department.

In 2017, Senator Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Women, Peace and Security Act, was signed into law, requiring the U.S. Government to strengthen the meaningful participation of women in conflict prevention and peace negotiations.

Keeping America’s Promise to Our Afghan Allies:
Senator Shaheen has long led efforts in the U.S. Senate to support those Afghans who stood alongside U.S. military and diplomatic personnel for more than 20 years. She previously partnered with Senator John McCain to establish the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program and last year successfully fought through Senate gridlock to extend the SIV program and procure additional visas for our Afghan partners. 

In the FY25 Committee-passed NDAA, Shaheen secured a commitment from the committee noting its support for the Afghan SIV program. This came in response to Senator Shaheen’s continued request for the Biden administration to develop a strategy to address the backlog of Special Immigrant Visas available to our Afghan allies.  
Safeguarding America's Competitive Advantages: 
Shaheen’s bipartisan STOP Enemies Act was included in the FY25 Committee-passed NDAA, which prohibits service members from providing military education, military training or tactical advice to the enemy as prohibited acts under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This builds on Shaheen’s work from last year, when she successfully led a bipartisan amendment to the FY24 NDAA to prohibit former American service members from working for the government national security apparatus of China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Iran to protect our national security interests and ensure they do not gain a competitive advantage over the United States and our partners and allies. 
Standing with Ukraine and Supporting NATO: 
Shaheen helped secure a provision in the FY25 NDAA that reauthorizes the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and provides additional funding flexibility for the program. Shaheen has consistently worked to ensure the delivery of military, humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine as they fight for their freedom and democracy amidst Putin’s war of aggression. 

Senator Shaheen has long advocated for additional aid to Ukraine and comprehensive legislation to address our national security interests. As recently as last week, Shaheen pushed for this support and for the House to act. She joined with her colleagues to introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act, which would allow the President to enter into lend-lease agreements with Ukraine to provide additional categories of military equipment to protect civilians. Earlier this year, Shaheen penned an editorial in the Boston Globe, urging her colleagues to support this agreement and continue to supply Ukraine with the aid they need to continue to repel Putin’s illegal invasion.  

Shaheen also included a provision in the bill that notes continued U.S. support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and urges fellow NATO Allies to live up to their commitments to the Alliance, and to continue to support Ukraine’s fight for freedom. Earlier this year, Shaheen led 22 bipartisan Senators in a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging Canada, the only Ally not to have a plan to get to NATO’s two percent defense spending threshold, to increase its security investments.  
Supporting Americans Affected by Directed Energy Attacks: 
Senator Shaheen built on her progress to ensure that all U.S. personnel and their loved ones suffering from anomalous health incidents (AHIs) – also known as “Havana Syndrome” or directed-energy attacks – get the medical attention they deserve. Shaheen successfully secured a provision requiring a briefing on instances of anomalous health incidents (AHI) in service members and Department of Defense personnel and successfully added an amendment to the bill that will impose penalties on the Department of Defense until the Department, which has delayed action until now, releases payment rules that AHI victims can benefit from.  

This follows months of questioning the Secretary of Defense on plans to implement the HAVANA Act by releasing DoD’s payment rules. After sending a bipartisan letter to President Biden with the leadership of the Armed Services, Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees, the Department of Justice heeded Shaheen’s long-time call by issuing its federal regulations.  
Shaheen previously supported the establishment of the AHI Cross Functional Team in the FY22 NDAA and worked to authorize $10 million in funding to support its efforts in the FY24 appropriations bill. Senator Shaheen has been a leader in supporting American public servants who have incurred AHIs. In October 2021, President Biden signed legislation Shaheen helped lead, the Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks (HAVANA Act), into law. The law authorizes financial support to ensure medical care for those living with AHIs. In the FY21 NDAA, Shaheen successfully included language to expand a provision in law that she previously wrote to provide long-term, emergency care benefits to all U.S. government employees and their dependents who were mysteriously injured while working in China and Cuba. 
Advancing Peace and Security in the Middle East:  
Senator Shaheen secured key provisions to advance U.S. security interests in the Middle East and stand with vulnerable populations. She successfully included an extension of the Counter-ISIS Train and Equip funds to be used for containing the ISIS detainee population in Syria. Her provision also modifies the authority to remove caps on construction to secure Syrian Democratic Forces-run detention facilities. This builds on Shaheen’s work from the FY24 NDAA which was signed into law last year and included a Shaheen provision to designate a senior coordinator at the State Department to lead U.S. government efforts to address the humanitarian and security crises at ISIS detainee and displaced persons camps in northeastern Syria. The provision also directed the administration to develop an interagency strategy to address the threats posed by the camps, with the goal of ultimately repatriating all inhabitants and closing the camps. 
Shaheen also secured a provision in the FY25 Committee-passed NDAA urging the Department of Defense to develop a strategy to protect American forces in Syria and protect them from Iran-backed militias, ISIS, Russian forces and the Assad regime. The Shaheen provision also urges the Department of Defense to develop a plan for the United States to counter Russian support for Foreign Terrorist Organizations in Syria.  
Critically, Shaheen also fought to include a provision noting the importance and national security imperative of getting increased aid to the people of Gaza.  
Addressing the Security Landscape in Europe to Promote Democracy and Economic Stability: 
Senator Shaheen secured a provision that supports the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina as malign actors seek to sow instability and feed on ethnic divisions. In the FY25 Committee-passed bill, Shaheen also noted that continued efforts are needed to ensure stability and security in the Black Sea region. Ukraine has made great strides in depleting Russia’s Black Sea fleet despite limited naval capacities and the region remains critical for key global exports, including grain. 
Shaheen also fought to include a provision that would require the Secretary of Defense to review security cooperation activities with Georgia in light of its new foreign agents law. This is part of Shaheen’s bipartisan Georgian People’s Act with Senator Risch. Earlier this year, Shaheen sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Georgia urging the government to reconsider the bill, which is an attack on civil society and contradictory to the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Georgian people. 
Last year, Shaheen traveled to Georgia and Romania to meet with heads of state, members of legislature and representatives from civil society to discuss the nations’ bilateral relationships, as well as the geopolitical importance of the Black Sea region. 
In March 2021, Shaheen held a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee hearing on bolstering democracy in Georgia and previously introduced a bipartisan resolution reaffirming U.S. support for a pro-democracy future for Georgia. Senator Shaheen has also successfully led bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate to establish a U.S. policy toward the Black Sea region. 

Finally, the NDAA includes a provision that would extend Shaheen’s 2015 legislation establishing an Eastern European Training Initiative to reimburse Cyprus for participation in military exercises. Last year, Shaheen helped to secure a provision that would extend the authority to Kosovo.