House Approves McMorris Rodgers Priorities, Pay Raise For Troops in Annual Defense Package

House of Representatives Passes FY25 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

Washington, D.C. –  Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the FY25 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included two provisions she wrote and a number of wins for servicemembers in Eastern Washington:

“This year’s National Defense Authorization Act is a critical investment that will strengthen America’s national defense and reinforce our leadership on the world stage at a dangerous time of global conflict,” said Rodgers. “This bipartisan package also makes some much-needed changes to housing, medical care, and child care policies that will dramatically improve the quality of life for those who answer the call to serve.”

“I’m also proud that a number of my priorities are included in this year’s defense bill, a few of which were inspired by individuals right here in Eastern Washington,” she continued. “Taking ideas from incredible individuals in our community and turning them into results that will help others in their shoes is what makes this job special, and I look forward to getting them across the finish line.”

The House-passed version of this year’s NDAA includes numerous provisions to bolster America’s national defense and improve servicemember quality of life, including at Fairchild Air Force Base in Eastern Washington. It also includes four provisions Cathy has been leading on. See below for more details on what’s in the bill.

Cathy’s Priorities

  • A provision based on the Bobby Moran Soldier’s Medal Retirement Act to eliminate the retirement pay cap for Vietnam-era veterans who received the Soldier’s Medal, ensuring recipients receive the increased retirement compensation they earned with the honor. Cathy led this on behalf of United States Air Force Staff Sergeant Bobby Moran from Usk, Wash., who was awarded the Soldier’s Medal for risking his life to save eight people after their boat capsized in the turbulent waters of Pyramid Lake, Nevada. CLICK HERE to learn more.
  • Sense of Congress that individuals with non-service-connected amputations should be permitted to serve in the United States Armed Forces. This provision was inspired by Hannah Cvancara, a Spokane resident, who suffered a childhood amputation that disqualified her from serving as a nurse in the United States Navy. It would encourage the Department of Defense to consider changing its policy currently prohibiting an individual – who is otherwise qualified – from serving. CLICK HERE to learn more about Hannah’s story.
  • A provision based on the Wounded Warrior Bill of Rights to cut through red tape, improve transparency, and increase accountability for wounded warriors. The amendment would ensure veterans are able to effectively appeal decisions made regarding their medical separation from service and disability benefits. CLICK HERE to read the bill.
  • A provision led by the Abraham Accords Caucus, which Cathy co-chairs, to build on the DEFEND Act and MARITIME Act by allowing for the Department of Defense to create an exchange for a subject matter expert in areas of maritime, arial, cyber and other security related fields.

Improving Servicemember Quality of Life

  • Supports a 4.5% pay raise for all servicemembers.
  • Addresses chronic underfunding of housing maintenance to address poor conditions like sewage overflows, gas leaks, and mold.
  • Ensures access to medical care, including mental health services and specialty providers.
  • Increases access to child care by authorizing $204 million for construction of new child care centers.
  • Aims to lower the 20% unemployment rate among military spouses with increased employment support. 

Spending Responsibly

  • Authorizes funding in line with the spending level set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
  • Saves taxpayers $30 billion by cutting inefficient programs, obsolete weapons systems, and unnecessary Pentagon bureaucracy.

Restoring Readiness

  • Blocks the Biden administration’s plan to reduce the number of U.S. Special Forces.
  • Supports military recruitment efforts by extending military recruitment bonuses and increasing funding for ROTC and JROTC programs.
  • Rejects the Biden administration’s request to divest certain aircraft, including the KC-135, F-22, F-15E, and C-130 to ensure continued air superiority in the near-term.
  • Requires DoD to procure strategic minerals from U.S. sources to the maximum extent possible.
  • Requires DoD to develop a plan to continually restock the National Defense Stockpile during times of extended national emergency.

Protecting Parents Rights

  • Includes a Parents Bill of Rights to ensure parents of children in DoD schools have the right to review curriculum, books, and instructional materials; meet with teachers; and provide consent before any medical exams or screenings by the school.

Deterring the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

  • Prevents Chinese espionage by prohibiting contracting with the subsidiaries of any Chinese civil-military companies to include any subsidiaries, the sharing of sensitive missile defense information with China, and Chinese nationals from being admitted to nuclear facilities.
  • Bolsters Taiwan’s defense and supports our Indo-Pacific allies and partners.

Countering Other Foreign Adversaries 

  • Requires DoD to report to Congress on Iranian efforts to harden their nuclear facilities and how to defeat them.
  • Prohibits DoD from providing security assistance funding to the Taliban or Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. 
  • Extends DoD’s authority to support partner forces in fights against ISIS.
  • Fully funds U.S. Forces Korea and military construction projects in South Korea, as well as reaffirms U.S. support for the defense of South Korea.
  • Requires DoD to plan a force structure that can counter a Russian-Chinese military alliance.
  • Extends the prohibition on the release of any terrorists housed at Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan or any country that is a state sponsor of terrorism.

Supporting Israel 

  • Authorizes full funding for joint U.S.-Israel cooperative missile defense programs (Iron Dome, Arrow, David’s Sling).
  • Requires DoD to assess pre-launch missile defeat capabilities to eliminate missile threats from Iran and their terrorist proxies.

Securing the Southern Border 

  • Fully funds deployment of National Guard troops at the southwest border.
  • Increases funding by $20 million for DoD counternarcotics activities.

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