WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) celebrated the U.S. House of Representatives passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, which included key initiatives spearheaded by Congressman Scott.
“As the representative from Virginia’s Third Congressional District, I was pleased to support this year’s NDAA which will protect our national security and include a well-earned pay raise for servicemembers and civilians serving our military,” said Congressman Scott. “This NDAA also includes funding for the Ford-class nuclear aircraft carrier program as well as the Columbia-class and Virginia-class submarine program, all of which we proudly build in Hampton Roads.”
The NDAA also included key priorities from Congressman Scott including:
- Combatting the epidemic of servicemember suicides. The Inspector General of the Department of Defense shall compile a report regarding instances of suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal ideation among Navy servicemembers. Requires an assessment of Navy mental health teams, commander responses, and challenges that stand in the way of sailors receiving the care and treatment they deserve. Congressman Scott and Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) have pushed for action on this troubling issue.
- Enhancing the resilience of Hampton Roads and other defense communities – Creates a new Interagency Regional Coordinator for Resilience pilot program to increase federal support for collaboration between federal, state, and local entities to enhance climate resilience in defense communities, such as Hampton Roads. Last July, Congressman Scott introduced a similar amendment that was also agreed to with the original House version of the NDAA. The following month, Congressman Scott led a letter requesting that President Biden establish such a coordinator role in Hampton Roads.
- Enhancing the success of the Coastal Storm Risk Management project in the City of Norfolk with the future transfer of at-risk federal waterfront property.
As the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott also applauded inclusion of H.R. 9028, the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act, and H.R. 2499, the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act:
“I am pleased the NDAA also includes language from both the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act and the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act. Whether it’s a high-tech device or something as simple as a magnifying glass, assistive technology is critical to helping people with disabilities live, work, and participate in their communities independently. As more Americans look to exercise their right to live at home, instead of institutions, this investment will take a key step to increase the quality of life, and expand work and educational opportunities, for people across the country.
“The legislation would also help firefighters get the support they need if they become sick or injured on the job due to heat, stress, and exposure to toxic substances. Nearly every state helps firefighters access workers’ compensation by providing a presumption that certain diseases are work-related. Yet, no such protection exists for federal firefighters, forcing them to prove—often in the absence of documentation—that their illnesses are work-related. This legislation would provide federal firefighters with a presumption that certain illnesses are work-related. Although it is unfortunate these presumptions will expire arbitrarily within ten years of a firefighter’s retirement, this provision marks a critical step to provide federal firefighters and their families with the support they have always deserved.”
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Austin Barbera, (202) 225-8351
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