Congressman Tim Ryan Praises Inclusion of Additional C-130J Aircraft, Repeal of “Widow’s Tax” and Other Key Priorities in FY20 Defense Authorization Bill
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) praised the inclusion of several key priorities in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including authorizing four C-130J aircraft, repealing the so-called Widow’s Tax, implementing paid parental leave, funding emergency recovery projects for military bases, and protecting DREAMer and immigrant veterans. Ryan also announced that he will vote for the bill when it comes to the Floor of the House of Representatives this week.
“I’m pleased that the FY20 NDAA ensures our men and women in uniform are provided with the tools, resources and benefits they deserve. A major win in this bipartisan legislation is an authorization of four additional C-130J aircraft to match the appropriation I was able to secure in the Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill. I will continue to work closely with Air Force Reserve Command leaders to demonstrate the importance of basing these four C-130Js at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, and to lay out a game plan that will account for multi-year operational excellence at Trumbull County’s largest employer,” said Congressman Ryan. “The NDAA also repeals the Widow’s Tax which has cost thousands of dollars for military families of deceased servicemembers. Since 2009, I’ve been fighting for the repeal of this harmful tax, and I’m proud to see this become a reality. As a member of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, I understand how critical it is to provide our military with the support they need to prepare for the threats and challenges our nation faces around the world, and I will continue fighting every day for our servicemembers, veterans, and their families.”
Vito Abruzzino, Executive Director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC) added, “We appreciate everything Congressman Ryan has done to make sure the men and women of the 910th are in the best equipment, and deeply appreciate his ever-vigilant attitude toward national defense and the importance of the 910th to the Valley’s economy as a whole.”
Key provisions in FY20 NDAA include:
- Repeals the Widow’s Tax: Eliminates an offset that costs families of deceased service members thousands of dollars a year in earned retirement benefits. Currently, surviving spouses of service members and Veterans who make the ultimate sacrifice receive payment from the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program. But to do so, they must relinquish, dollar for dollar, any earned military retirement.
- C-130J: Increases intertheater airlift by adding four additional C-130 aircraft.
- TransDigm: In light of Transdigm price gouging, strengthens contracting officers ability to determine fair and reasonable prices by ensuring that contractors comply with requests to provide cost and pricing data or face potential ineligibility for award.
- Counter Russia Aggression: Reverses Trump cuts to the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) to support U.S. allies and deter Russia.
- Protects Dreamers and immigrant veterans: Prohibits a member who is protected under DACA or TPS from being involuntarily separated from the military, and requires that a veterans military service shall be consider in any determination for removal proceedings.
- Disaster-related military construction: Authorizes $4.1 billion for emergency recovery projects at installations affected by hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes.
- PFAS and related chemicals: Bans DoD use of firefighting agents containing PFAS by 2024 and immediately bans use of PFAS in training. Authorizes DOD to provide alternative water to farmers effected by PFAS contaminated agricultural water.
- Paid Parental Leave: Provides federal employees with 12 weeks of paid parental leave, which matches benefits already provided to military members. This applies to all civilian employees throughout the federal government.
- Reform the Feres Doctrine: Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to allow and pay claims to service members for personal injury or death, providing service members an opportunity to seek justice for medical malpractice.
- Climate Change: Contains a number of provisions that require DoD to assess and address climate risk across the planning, design and construction process; authorizes $100 million, $25 million above the President’s request, for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI); supports land conservation efforts in cooperation with local communities to prevent incompatible development around military bases and ranges.
- Blocking Chinese Companies’ Rail Cars or Buses: Bars federal dollars from being used to purchase passenger rail cars or buses from state-owned or state-controlled enterprises, such as those from China.