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July 15, 2022

Rep. Aguilar’s Legislation Supporting Troops and Veterans Pass the House

WASHINGTON, DC — This week, Rep. Pete Aguilar voted to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, which includes several provisions he authored that help military families transition to civilian life, strengthen education for servicemembers, help veterans find jobs and keep extremists out of the military. This year’s defense bill increases pay for service members, funds the development of new technologies and deepens our nation’s global network of allies.

“As Putin’s lawless war in Ukraine continues, it is important that our alliances and partnerships remain strong, and that our national security remains as strong as possible,” said Rep. Aguilar. “This year’s defense bill gives a pay raise for our servicemember, and invests in next-generation technologies that will strengthen our military capabilities. Keeping Americans safe, strengthening our nation’s security and supporting Inland Empire servicemembers and veterans will always be a top priority of mine.”

Rep. Aguilar had four amendments included in this bill:

  • Requires all computer-based counseling under Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTEP) to be in English, Spanish, Tagalog and the 10 remaining commonly spoken languages in the US to support service members’ spouses as they transition into civilian life.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a risk-based survey that will provide greater oversight of schools that participate in the Tuition Assistance Program, which ensures servicemembers receive high quality education.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on how service branches an incorporate EMT national licensing into their medic training to make it easier for veterans to secure a job.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to update Congress on the implementation of recommendations regarding screening of domestic extremists who want to join the military. Rep. Aguilar introduced similar legislation on the floor of the US House of Representatives in 2021.

The House of Representative’s version of the FY23 NDAA also increases benefits for service members and their families, including a 4.6% pay raise for service members and a 2.4% inflation bonus for service members earning less than $45,000 per year; invests $275 million for next-generation capabilities in hypersonics, electronic warfare and artificial intelligence; secures $1 billion for the Ukraine Assistance Initiative and additional funding for the European Deterrence Initiative and the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to counter foreign adversaries; delivers over $111 million for research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and a pilot program to increase research capacity at Minority Serving Institutions; and strengthens supply chains.

Rep. Aguilar serves as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is a Member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Committee on House Administration.