Rep. Austin Scott: Big Wins for Robins and Moody in Passage of Defense Bill

December 11, 2019
Press Release
Final legislation includes funding for key construction projects and re-engining critical J-STARS fleet.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), today released the below statement upon passage of the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA). The NDAA sets Department of Defense (DOD) policy and authorizes funding levels for defense programs.

“As Members of Congress, one of our duties is to provide for our nation’s defense. Passing the National Defense Authorization Act is an important part of this, as it authorizes needed resources for our warfighters,” said Rep. Austin Scott. “In my role on the House Armed Services Committee, my focus has always been to implement reforms without compromising our military’s capability to be prepared for the national security challenges we face, and I believe we were able to accomplish many important goals in this year’s NDAA.”

Included in the legislation are key wins for Georgia’s Eighth District. The critically-important E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (J-STARS) fleet based at Robins Air Force Base will receive $48.7 million, which includes a $20 million plus-up for re-engining. Robins will also receive $43 million to construct its consolidated mission complex. Additionally, Moody Air Force Base will receive $12.5 million to construct a much-needed combat rescue helicopter (HH-60W) apron.

Also included in the legislation is a provision authored by Rep. Scott to reimburse military spouses up to $1,000 for licensing and certification costs associated with a mandated move. This provision would potentially assist military spouses who are teachers, advance practice nurses, physician's assistants, occupational therapists, dentists, dental hygienists, nutritionists, counselors, social workers, veterinarians, cosmetologists and realtors, among other careers. This provision builds on a bill Rep. Scott introduced on June 4, 2019. Click here to read more.

Other key provisions of the legislation include:

  • READINESS: Provides the resources to continue to rebuild readiness, advance modernization of the nuclear triad, develop emerging technologies, enhance missile defense, and confront our adversaries. 
  • PAY RAISE: Provides a 3.1% pay-raise for our troops – the largest increase in a decade – and also extends special pay and bonuses for servicemembers.
  • BORDER SECURITY: Does not include any prohibitions on funding a border wall nor restrictions affecting the counterdrug programs that construct fences along the border to block drug smuggling corridors.
  • GUANTANAMO BAY: Maintains long-standing prohibitions on transferring detainees from Guantanamo Bay, constructing detention facilities in the U.S., and closing Guantanamo.
  • MILITARY HOUSING: Increases transparency and oversight of privatized military housing, including a new Tenant Bill of Rights.
  • NATURAL DISASTERS: Provides an additional $5.3 billion in emergency funding for military installations damaged by natural disasters.
  • SPACE FORCE: Establishes the United States Space Force as the sixth branch of the military.
  • PAID PARENTAL LEAVE: Provides up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for the Defense Department, Intelligence Community, and across the federal government, a key administration priority.

Click here for a full summary of the FY2020 NDAA Conference Report.