Governors Commend Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

The National Governors Association (NGA) today welcomed the passage of S.1790, the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and encourages the president to sign the measure.

“As commanders-in-chief of state National Guards, governors uniquely understand the critical importance of the annual passage of the NDAA,” said NGA Executive Director Bill McBride. “Passage will ensure our service members receive the resources they need to complete their missions both overseas and at home.”

The NDAA includes several items requested by governors. NGA stands ready to work with Congress and the Administration to effectively implement these critically important provisions that will help support and improve National Guard and state missions.

These provisions include:

  • increasing Air National Guard end strength to support the National Guard’s dual-nature missions at home and overseas;
  • a reporting requirement for the Department of Defense to work with the National Governors Association and the Council of Governors to establish policy and processes related to the use of the National Guard in the event of a large scale, complex and catastrophic disaster;
  • an authorization for the National Guard to access the Defense Environmental Restoration Account funds for addressing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exposures and contamination around National Guard bases, and;
  • encouraging the Secretary of Defense to work expeditiously to finalize a cooperative agreement upon request from the governor of a state if there is suspected contamination from perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

NGA also supports efforts in the NDAA to provide a 3.1 percent military pay raise, expand the reimbursement amount for state licensure expenses for military spouses, authorize 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all federal civilian employees, and review the use of unmanned aerial systems to support state and federal agencies. However, governors continue to ask that Congress work toward a comprehensive solution to address the concerns surrounding per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) substances beyond military infrastructure.

Additional Resources:

  • NGA Letter – NGA Defense Authorization Priorities
  • NGA Letter – 45 Governor Signed Conference Priorities