Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Override President Trump’s Veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Override President Trump’s Veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

December 28, 2020
Press Release
NDAA includes a pay raise and hazard pay for U.S. Servicemembers and long-overdue benefits to Vietnam-Era veterans exposed to Agent Orange

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) voted this evening to override President Trump’s veto of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes a pay raise and hazard pay for U.S. Servicemembers and long-overdue benefits to Vietnam-Era veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

Overriding a president’s veto requires a two-thirds vote in each chamber of Congress. The House voted today to override President Trump’s veto by a vote of 322 – 87. The Senate is also expected to vote to override the president’s veto of the NDAA, if that happens, this will be the first veto override in Trump’s presidency.  

“This defense bill is crucial to keeping our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardians safe and helping us compete against our adversaries like China and Russia. For the President to veto this bill due to petty and personal reasons is shameful. I am proud that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have joined in overturning this veto so we can get back to the business of governing,” said Congressman Ryan.

The NDAA was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 335-78 on December 8th and the U.S. Senate with a vote of 84-13 on December 11th.  

The NDAA includes long-overdue benefits to Vietnam-Era veterans exposed to Agent Orange – adding Parkinsonism, bladder cancer, and hypothyroidism to the list of diseases associated with its exposure. It also included a pay raise for the troops and hazard pay for those who serve in harm’s way. It authorizes a 3.0 percent increase in basic pay and $275 hazardous duty pay per month for service members in harm’s way, including members of the National Guard and National Reserve.

“Our veterans have put their lives on the line in defense for our freedoms and security. As a nation, we can honor their service and sacrifice by holding up our end of the bargain and providing them the care they have earned – and this bill provides long-overdue benefits to those brave Vietnam-Era veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange. This bill also provides additional wages and protections to our active duty armed forces and veterans during this already difficult time. Our troops must be fully prepared for the many threats they face around the world, and it is our job to make sure they get the support they need to carry out their mission—especially as we face a global pandemic,” Congressman Ryan continued. 

Other provisions of the $732 billion NDAA supported by Congressman Ryan include:

  • Ensuring paid parental leave to all federal employees.
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to furnish childcare to each child of a member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the DOD while that member or employee works on rotating shifts at a military installation.
  • Taking Steps to Further Protect Military Communities from polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including authorizing $1.4 billion for environmental remediation and BRAC accounts which support a range of remediation activities, to include those related to PFAS, at current military installations, formerly utilized defense sites, and installations closed by BRAC.
  • Includes the Elijah Cummings Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination Act, passed the House in January 2019, which strengthens equal employment opportunity protections for federal employees and strengthens prohibitions against discrimination and retaliation against whistleblowers.    
  • Includes improvement to military housing, including updating minimum health and safety standards for all military base housing, repealing a provision that currently allows DOD to place families in substandard housing units, and requiring DOD to implement Comptroller General recommendations for improvement of military family housing.

Requires the DOD Inspector General to establish a mechanism to track and report supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activity in the Armed Forces.

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