McAdams votes for strong national defense; support for military families

Congressional News 02

Congressman Ben McAdams voted for the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, (NDAA) which invests in U.S. military readiness and meets the needs of the nation’s military men and women and their families.  McAdams supported S. 1790– the conference report outlining House and Senate agreement on defense department needs.

“The men and women who wear the uniform and put their lives on the line to defend our country deserve our strong commitment to the success of their mission and support for their sacrifices. This legislation honors our promise to give them the tools, training and benefits they deserve as they work to keep us safe and protect our freedom,” said McAdams.

McAdams says the bill provides a 3.1 percent pay raise (the largest in a decade) for service men and women and includes a bill McAdams backed which extends Tricare (military health care) to certain Reserve members of the Armed Services. It also offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal civilian employees, giving them parity with active military.  It also repeals the so-called “widow’s tax”, which currently reduces payments to families of fallen service members from the Survivor Benefit Plan, by the amount they receive from the VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation program. It repeals this reduction over a three-year period, allowing surviving families to collect both payments in full. McAdams backed a stand-alone bill to repeal this harmful tax on military widows.

McAdams said the bill also requires the Defense Department to develop a comprehensive mental health policy that looks at the availability of mental health services for service members. It allows service members to be referred to mental health services in the civilian community within 15 days of requesting treatment, if services aren’t available at a Military Treatment Facility.

The legislation includes provisions designed to counter Russian influence and election interference efforts as part of the FY 2020 Intelligence Authorization Act, which is included in the NDAA.