Davis secures amendments for the East

Published 1:22 pm Friday, December 15, 2023

From Congressman Don Davis:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Don Davis (NC-01), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the conference report to accompany H.R. 2670, the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024, by a vote of 310-118. The comprehensive package includes numerous provisions championed by Congressman Davis to address key North Carolina priorities.

“As a U.S. Air Force veteran, I am committed to fighting to make sure the men and women in military uniform have what they need to keep the American people safe and secure, and the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act fulfills this commitment,” said Congressman Davis. “I’m particularly pleased with the pay raise for our military families that they well deserve and the inclusion of the critical amendments for eastern North Carolina’s military installations that I fought hard for.”

Notable provisions adopted as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 NDAA (among others):

  • Supports an increase in basic military pay by 5.2% for servicemembers and authorizes a one-year extension of certain expiring bonuses and special pay authorities to assist with critical recruitment and retention incentive programs.
  • Restores Basic Allowance for Housing levels, reducing out-of-pocket expenses to servicemembers.

Addresses Health Care Needs:

  • Improves TRICARE benefits and addresses growing behavioral health needs and military suicide prevention needs.
  • Increases awareness across the Department of Defense (DoD) to the new 9-8-8 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Addresses Child Care Needs and Support for Military Spouses:

  • Expands the in-home pilot program for child care, focusing on remote areas in each service while also building on partnerships and relationships off-installation to increase child care capacity by looking at community resources such as local chambers of commerce, Child Care Aware of America or the state equivalent, Armed Services YMCA, and child care business providers.
  • Expands eligibility for reimbursement for qualified licensure, certifications, and business relocation costs when a spouse transfers locations, transfers from active duty to reserves, or is placed on temporary disability retired list.

Addresses Housing Needs for Servicemembers and Military Families:

  • Requires the DoD to create tools for servicemembers to rate housing and compare options and will establish the Department of Defense Military Housing Readiness Council to review and make recommendations to the DoD regarding policies for privatized military housing.
  • Requires the DoD to develop health and safety standards for barracks, including standards on fire and electrical safety. It also prevents waivers on certain minimum health and safety standards.

Addresses Quality of Life Infrastructure Needs: 

  • Authorizes $276 million in military construction for new child development centers and $60 million in additional funds for planning and design to accelerate future child development center replacements.
  • Authorizes $369.3 million in military construction to replace poor and failing barracks and dormitories for single and unaccompanied servicemembers.

Workforce Development, Retention, and Professional Development: 

  • Includes $150 million for higher education institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
  • Creates the Academic Engagement Office for Cyber, a central program office focused on digital and cyber education, as well as partnerships, and scholarships.

During markup of the NDAA last month, the House Armed Services Committee passed 11 amendments submitted by Davis, including but not limited to reforms that:

  • Support efforts for infrastructure updates to military installations in eastern North Carolina.
  • Improve health care safety standards for servicemembers and their families.
  • Require department agencies to create additional reports to Congress to ensure public transparency.
  • Provide servicemembers and their families with a step toward their day of justice from North Carolina’s toxic water claims.

Military installations in eastern North Carolina include the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, United States Coast Guard – Elizabeth City, Marine Corps Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and Fort Liberty Army Base.