Congressman Panetta Secures Central Coast Defense Priorities in Defense Authorization Bill

December 11, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) supported passage of the conference report on the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Congressman Panetta successfully incorporated numerous provisions to the bipartisan, bicameral conference report that strengthen programs and priorities for Central Coast defense installations and entities, address military housing issues, and keep the United States in international military alliances and treaties. The measure will soon go to the President’s desk for signature into law.

Support for Local Defense Installations

  • Congressman Panetta secured a provision allowing civilian academic faculty at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and the Defense Language Institute to hold the copyright for scholarly work produced outside of their assigned duties. This revision to Professional Military Education will allow the Department of Defense to recruit and retain top tier civilian faculty across the defense academic enterprise.
  • Congressman Panetta submitted an item of special interest supporting irregular warfare capabilities and encouraging the Army to continue to fund Army Special Forces officer attendance at NPS.
  • The NDAA requires the Department of Defense design, develop, and implement a digital engineering capability, infrastructure, and pilot program. NPS is exploring digital engineering educational and certificate programs.
  • The NDAA directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to provide a report to Congress on efforts to improve innovation investments and management. The report is due to Congress by the end of the year.
  • The NDAA directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress containing a plan to improve the collection and monitoring of information regarding the consideration and use of intergovernmental support agreements (IGSA), including information regarding the financial and nonfinancial benefits derived from the use of such agreements. The report is due to Congress no later than July 31, 2020. The Monterey Model was the first IGSA.
  • Congressman Panetta authored several amendments requiring enhanced coordination between the federal government, industry, and academia to ensure the global superiority of the United States in emerging technologies and sustained resourcing for research, development, test, and evaluation programs that support the central coast of California.

Privatized Military Housing Issues

  • The NDAA contains core elements of Congressman Panetta’s legislation, H.R. 2811, the Better Military Housing Act, including requirements to create a tenant bill of rights for residents of privatized military housing; prohibit reprisal against military tenants; create a housing advocate for servicemembers; establish an accounting of respective responsibilities of the landlord and tenant; implement an improved work order system; and execute and publicize annual Inspector General oversight inspections of privatized military housing at randomly selected installations.
  • Congressman Panetta secured an amendment authorizing the Army to carry out a pilot program to construct new military housing in diverse climate regions in the United States utilizing the All-American Abode design by the United States Military Academy.
  • Congressman Panetta secured an amendment requiring a report on the legal services the Department of Defense may provide to servicemembers harmed by a health or environmental hazard while living in military housing and dissemination of the information at all U.S. installations.

"It is imperative the Department of Defense develop a holistic solution to remedy systemic privatized military housing issues and empower servicemembers families.  The NDAA will enhance transparency, communication, and accountability standards," said Congressman Panetta. "We must continue to prioritize the health and safety of our servicemembers and their families."

Promotion of Our Values and Support for Allies

  • The NDAA contains Congressman Panetta’s legislation, H.R. 676, the NATO Support Act, reaffirming strong Congressional support for NATO and prohibiting the use of funds to withdraw from the alliance.
  • The NDAA contains core elements of Congressman Panetta’s legislation, H.R. 5149, the Open Skies Treaty Stability Act, including a requirement that prior to any withdrawal from the treaty, the administration certify to Congress that exiting is in the best interests of U.S. national security.

"The NDAA will keep the United States in the most successful military alliance in human history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The NATO alliance allows for constant coordination and collaboration in the continued fight against international terrorism, Russian aggression, and cyber-attacks," continued Congressman Panetta. "The NDAA ensures that America not only is a reliable partner in NATO, but that NATO remains the cornerstone for peace and prosperity throughout the world."

Honor for U.S. Veterans

  • The NDAA contains Congressman Panetta’s legislation, H.R. 1019, the Full Military Honors Act, providing a full military honors ceremony – including funeral escort platoon, military band, firing party, and horse-drawn caisson – to Medal of Honor recipients and Prisoners of War eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

"As the authorizing bill for the Department of Defense, the NDAA outlines the policy to help the men and women protecting our country, including those serving on the Central Coast.  I am pleased that this year’s defense package will include important investments that reflect our Central Coast values." said Congressman Panetta.

The FY20 NDAA also provides all federal employees with 12 weeks paid parental leave, repeals the “widow’s tax,” increases pay for U.S. servicemembers by 3.1%, and prohibits backfill of military construction funds for the President’s border wall.

The annual NDAA covers the breadth of the operations of the Department of Defense as well as the national security functions of the Department of Energy and other related areas. The annual national defense budget involves millions of military and civilian personnel, thousands of facilities, and hundreds of agencies, departments, and commands located around the world.