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July 12, 2019

Aguilar Passes Seven Amendments to Department of Defense Authorization Bill

The House passed H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020. The bill, which authorizes military spending for the upcoming fiscal year, included seven amendments authored by Rep. Pete Aguilar. The bill also included a 3.1 percent pay raise for military personnel, the largest since 2010. The Aguilar amendments included:

  • An amendment to expand the types of education military spouses can pursue using the tuition benefits offered under the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account to include Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees as well as technical and vocational training.
  • An amendment to ensure military service members are debriefed on how to file claims and where to send the necessary documents to receive veterans’ benefits as they transition to civilian life.
  • An amendment to prohibit the Department of Defense from participating in the deportation of service members or honorably discharged veterans with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
  • An amendment that directs the Department of Defense to provide guidance on how to apply for citizenship to immigrants who serve in the US Military and are transitioning to civilian life.
  • An amendment to allow students attending one or two-year certificate programs to qualify for the Department of Defense Cyber Scholarship Program.
  • An amendment to require a feasibility study on the use of FBI databases for the Department of Defense to screen for White Nationalist extremists who seek to enlist in the US military.
  • An amendment calling for budget experts to be present at Nuclear Weapons Council meetings to ensure costs are considered when decisions are made regarding the United States’ nuclear weapons programs.

Rep. Aguilar was also the cosponsor of an amendment to protect jobs at March Air Reserve Base by requiring the Department of Defense to submit a report on any current or future plans to consolidate Defense Media Activity.

“From expanding benefits for military families to protecting immigrants who risk their lives to serve our country, this year’s NDAA reflects our values and does right by the brave men and women of our armed forces and their families. I’m proud that all seven of the amendments I submitted were adopted, and that they will help service members and veterans in the Inland Empire succeed in civilian life and utilize their military experience to secure future success,” said Aguilar.

“In this era, where partisanship is the norm, the Democratic members of the Armed Services Committee have worked diligently to preserve our Committee’s long-standing tradition of bipartisanship, and the FY20 NDAA is a reflection of that tradition,” said House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith. “While this year’s NDAA contains bipartisan provisions, our new Democratic majority has had an undeniable impact on the contents of this bill. Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Aguilar and other members of our excellent Appropriations Committee, the bill passed today reflects our Democratic values, supports our troops, and provides for a strong national defense enterprise.”

A prior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Aguilar now serves as Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, where he sits on the Subcommittees for Defense, Homeland Security and Transportation, Housing & Urban Development. Rep. Aguilar serves as a Chief Deputy Whip in the House Democratic Caucus.