Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)
December 28, 2020
Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) released the following statement after voting override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act:
“I am glad the House came together tonight in a bipartisan manner to resoundingly override President Trump’s misguided veto of the critical National Defense Authorization Act,” said Congressman Pappas. “This year’s authorization includes the pay raise all of our troops deserve, and it supports the health and well-being of our military by furthering efforts to clean up PFAS contamination on our bases and better understanding the long term health implications. The final package also includes $160 million for projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard that will allow Granite Staters to continue playing a critical role in our nation’s readiness. The bill also renames military installations that bear the names of Confederate officers, a move opposed by the President but long overdue to ensure we don’t honor the memory of traitors.”
“I hope the spirit of compromise that prevailed in crafting and passing this legislation will continue into the next Congress, and I continue to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put aside politics and keep delivering results for our communities.”
The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes several provisions Pappas fought for including:
- Delayed restructuring and closure of military treatment facilities to veterans and active duty family members across the country, including at a facility in Portsmouth.
- The establishment of an interagency working group to coordinate PFAS research and development that have been tasked with finding alternatives to PFAS and AFFF.
- Funding for the CDC’s study on PFAS in drinking water was increased to $15 million, a $5 million boost from the previous year.
- Provides a 3% pay raise for service members.
- Support for members of the Coast Guard and their families, including a pilot program on childcare, access to the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program, and improved gender diversity and sexual harassment provisions.
- Funding for a joint program with Israel to support research and development of effective treatments and responses to COVID-19 and lessen our dependence on China to bring an end to the pandemic.
- Mandated reporting on all the servicemembers who were ever discharged because of their sexual orientation, and data on how many of them have requested discharge status upgrades.
- Ensuring Vietnam-era Veterans receive care for illnesses directly linked to their exposure to Agent Orange
On December 8th, Congressman Pappas voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act, which included several provisions he fought for including help for military installations to clean up PFAS contamination and expand federal efforts to research the health implications of PFAS, the authorization of $160 million for projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard which will allow them to continue playing a critical role in our nation’s military readiness, and the temporarily blocking a DOD plan that would bar veterans and active duty family members from accessing military treatment facilities across the country, including in Portsmouth.
On December 23rd, Congressman Pappas condemned President Trump’s veto of the NDAA.