What the defense bill means for Texas
After the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, Senator John Cornyn submitted a summary of the defense bill and its impact on Texas.
· Raises troops’ pay by 3.1%, the largest pay raise for our military in a decade.
· Authorizes 94 new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, which are built by Texans in Fort Worth.
· Protects DOD and VA benefits of disabled veterans and their spouses from unfair bankruptcy collection.
· Protects Texas critical infrastructure and mass transit from foreign threats.
· Allows more flexible parental leave to be taken by servicemembers.
· Updates the microgrid for National Guard servicemembers at Camp Swift.
· Prioritizes energy conservation with $16.5 million for Fort Hood.
· Invests in Texas students through DOD’s STARBASE program in Austin, Houston, San Angelo, and San Antonio.
· Facilitates absentee voting for military personnel overseas by ensuring servicemembers are provided ballots, registration cards, and instruction on how to vote in their registered state.
· Prioritizes access to high quality public education for military children through increased DOD supplemental impact aid, especially for disabled military children.
· Supports working military dogs at Lackland Air Force Base by authorizing veterinary check-ups for all retiring working dogs.
· Authorizes $343 million for military construction projects in Texas, including a new powertrain facility at Corpus Christi Army Depot, a new vehicle bridge and barracks at Fort Hood, and barracks, an aquatics tank, and modernized training facilities at Joint Base San Antonio. Also provides authority for a new dining facility and air traffic control tower at Joint Base San Antonio.
Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.