Today Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) voted to advance the Fiscal Year 2023 annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes three Bath Iron Works-built Arleigh Burke destroyers, requires the Department of Defense to study and reduce the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), makes substantial investments in clean energy and climate change resiliency, and boosts U.S. support and assistance for the people of Ukraine, among other key investments. The bipartisan, bicameral agreement on this year’s defense bill also authorizes $45 million in federal funding to address the severe erosion at Camp Ellis.
“I’m proud that this year’s National Defense Authorization Act addresses the threat of climate change, guards against harmful forever chemicals, sustains jobs at Bath Iron Works, and bolsters our support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s unjust war. This is a strong, bipartisan bill that will support Americans who work to defend our country, their families, and the security of our communities at home and abroad—now and for future generations,” said Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman Pingree.
The NDAA is the annual bill which authorizes expenditures for the U.S. Department of Defense, while funding is provided through the Defense Appropriations bill. Congress has passed the NDAA for 62 consecutive years.
Highlights of the NDAA include:
Bath Iron Works
- Authorizes three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers for FY23.
- Authorizes additional advance procurement funding for a third DDG-51 in FY24.
- Authorizes $250 million for shipyard infrastructure upgrades in the DDG program.
- Authorizes the Navy to enter into a new multiyear procurement contract for up to 15 DDGs.
- Includes language authorizing a Navy shipbuilding workforce development initiative and codifying the acquisition process for the future large surface combatant, DDG(X).
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
- Fully authorizes the third increment for the Multi-Mission Dry Dock #1 Extension project at $503 million. Pingree also secured full funding for this project in the FY23 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations legislation, which passed the House earlier this year.
- Requires DoD to transition non-tactical vehicle fleets to electric or zero-emission by 2035 and establishes a pilot program to develop electric vehicle charging infrastructure
- Requires a pilot program on sustainable aviation fuels.
- Requires DoD building codes to include a consideration of integrated solar roofing on new construction.
- Requires DoD to increase recycling advanced batteries to address rare and critical mineral shortages.
- Requires the DoD to implement Comptroller General recommendations to set goals for the timely clean-up of formerly used defense sites that fall under the military munitions response program.
- Implements a phase-out of PFAS substances containing Fire Fighter Turn-out gear
- Modifies a prize program created to incentivize private sector development of AFFF alternatives to include research on PFAS-free personal protective firefighting equipment.
Public Shipyard Pay Disparity Amendment
- Directs GAO to investigate pay disparities between federal wage schedules and the local prevailing wage rate for wage grade workers at public shipyards and domestic naval bases, including
- those in the vicinity of competitive private defense industry, and
- high income markets such that wage-grade jobs must compete with other means of employment for workers of equivalent skill level and academic achievement.
Military Personnel and Families
- Supports an increase in military basic pay by 4.6% for servicemembers
- Increases the Basic Allowance for Housing by 2% and increases the threshold for the Basic Needs Allowance to 150% of the federal poverty line
- Provides increased funding to support Child Development Centers, barracks, and other quality of life facilities, and increases oversight of privatized military housing.
- Builds on Uniform Code of Military Justice reforms in FY22 NDAA regarding military sexual assault by placing sexual harassment and other offenses under the jurisdiction of the Special Trial Counsel.
- Expresses strong support for the Ukrainian people and their resistance against Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion, and strongly supports US commitments to NATO and European allies and partners
- Provides more than $6 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative and $800 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative
Click here for a detailed summary of the National Defense Authorization Act.