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Kaine Applauds Committee Passage of Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Bill

Kaine successfully secured key provisions to support Virginia’s servicemembers and defense community

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Chair of the SASC Subcommittee on Seapower, released the following statement after SASC passed the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation includes key provisions Kaine secured to advance U.S. national security priorities, support servicemembers and their families, benefit Virginia’s robust defense community, and boost efforts to work collaboratively with allies and partners.

“From Hampton Roads to Arlington to Radford to Danville, Virginia plays a significant role in advancing and protecting our national security. That’s why I’m proud to represent and advocate for Virginia’s servicemembers and defense community when we negotiate the annual defense bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee. I’m glad that the committee came together this year to pass a bill that makes critical investments to support our defense industrial base workforce and shipbuilding programs, including the Virginia-class submarine program to help ensure we meet our commitments through the Australia-U.K.-U.S. agreement. The bill also authorizes funding for military construction projects across the Commonwealth and includes provisions to support and improve quality-of-life among servicemembers and their families, including through pay raises. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get the bill on the Senate floor soon.”

Kaine successfully secured the following provisions:

Pay Raises: Authorizes a 4.5% pay raise for military personnel and a 2% pay raise for Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees. Authorizes an additional 1% pay raise for junior enlisted servicemembers with paygrades E-1 through E-3, resulting in a 5.5% total pay raise.

Shipbuilding Investments:

  • Authorizes an additional $900,000,000 in funding to enhance the submarine industrial base and support the construction of a second Virginia-class submarine.
  • Authorizes an additional $175,000,000 for carrier advanced procurement.
  • Authorizes increased funding for procurement of surface vessels, undersea vessels, aircraft, and munitions.
  • Directs the Navy to work with submarine shipbuilders to establish a process to bring new suppliers into the submarine industrial base more quickly.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to consider novel methods for recruiting and developing the defense industrial base workforce, to include replicating established training programs and educating service-oriented populations about the variety of opportunities for national service.
  • Directs a Navy plan to repair ship and submarine berths and piers, including the timeline and funding necessary to secure a more resilient source of energy.

Military Construction: Authorizes $806,777,000 for military construction (MILCON) projects in Virginia.

  • $225,000,000 for the Defense Health Headquarters at Fort Belvoir
  • $180,000,000 for barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall
  • $81,000,000 for a dormitory at Joint Base Langley-Eustis
  • $54,366,000 for Dry Dock 3 Modernization at Norfolk Naval Shipyard
  • $52,610,000 for long weapons storage at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
  • $52,110,000 for the CPS Weapons Maintenance, Ops & Storage Facility at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
  • $47,130,000 for the Conventional Prompt Strike Test Facility at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
  • $36,800,000 for the Metro Entrance Pedestrian Access Control Point at the Pentagon
  • $32,000,000 for SOF Human Performance Training Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story
  • $23,000,000 for Area Maintenance Support Activity/Vehicle Maintenance Shop in Richmond
  • $15,930,000 for unaccompanied housing at Naval Air Station Oceana
  • $4,080,000 for a Child Development Center at Naval Air Station Oceana
  • $2,751,000 for a Child Development Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story

Physical and Mental Health Care:

  • Directs Secretaries of the military departments to provide data on servicemember suicides to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on a monthly basis.
  • Authorizes TRICARE health providers to provide tele-mental health care services to military personnel and their dependents regardless of the location of the provider or patient.
  • Authorizes $4 million to establish the Defense Intrepid Network for Traumatic Brain Injury and Brain Health to provide clinical care to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate servicemembers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), symptoms from blast overpressure or blast exposure, and other mental health conditions.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a report on the Department’s efforts to diagnose, treat, and measure traumatic brain injuries throughout a member’s service from the time of entry until transition to veteran status.
  • Directs the Comptroller General to conduct a review and research on DOD efforts to address traumatic brain injuries related to blast overpressure and exposure. Kaine has previously helped introduce legislation and urged the Biden Administration to take action to mitigate and protect servicemembers from these injuries.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to conduct a comprehensive brain health and trauma demonstration program to provide servicemembers and their families with coordinated, integrated, and multi-specialist care.
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to give a briefing to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on the feasibility and advisability of establishing pregnancy as a qualifying life event under TRICARE.
  • Increases the maximum accession bonus for the Health Professions Scholarship Program from $20,000 to $100,000 to recruit more medical and dental providers.

Military Housing:

  • Authorizes the Secretary of Defense to increase Partial Basic Allowance for Housing for servicemembers without dependents living in military unaccompanied housing.
  • Authorizes increased funding to repair and improve enlisted barracks across the services, including nearly $149 million for the Marine Corps as part of the Barracks 2030 initiative.
  • Authorizes servicemembers who are below the grade of E-6, do not have dependents, and are assigned to sea duty to be paid a Basic Allowance for Housing.

Child Care and Education for Military Families:

  • Directs DOD to redesign the compensation and staffing models for employees of Child Development Centers to improve the ability to recruit and retain providers.
  • Includes a provision based off of Kaine’s bipartisan bill to extend the maximum student to teacher ratio directive for Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools around the world. Sets the maximum teacher to student ratio at 1:18 for grades K-3 and maintain an average of 1:24 for grades 4-12 across all DODEA schools.
  • Authorizes an additional $80 million for Impact Aid, including $30 million to support military children with severe disabilities. Impact Aid reimburses school districts for lost revenue and additional costs associated with the presence of nontaxable federal property like military installations.
  • Helps servicemembers grow their families by expanding access to fertility treatments and supporting adoption. Kaine has strongly advocated for protecting and expanding access to in-vitro fertilization and other assisted reproductive technology services.

Resilience of Military Installations:

  • Directs DOD to brief the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on risks related to flooding and other disasters that threaten military installations and surrounding civilian infrastructure.
  • Authorizes $10 million for the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration (REPI) Program to support base resiliency. Kaine called for robust funding for REPI.
  • Authorizes $5 million to support a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) assessment of the human health impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at military installations. Kaine has previously pushed the Biden Administration to take additional action to address PFAS testing and remediation and improvements to PFAS-related planning.

Support for Veterans: Extends and authorizes $8 million for the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program to help transitioning servicemembers and veterans become K-12 teachers.

U.S. Posture in Indo-Pacific:

  • Authorizes President Biden’s full budget request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), which enhances U.S. force posture, infrastructure, readiness, capacity, and capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.  
  • Requires a plan for the establishment of joint force headquarters subordinate to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) in Japan and Australia.
  • Authorizes an Indo-Pacific Security Assistance Initiative and authorizes DOD to provide defense articles and services to allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Directs a report on the activities conducted under Pillar II of the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) partnership. Kaine has been a strong champion of AUKUS in Congress.

Taiwan: Requires DOD to have a multi-year plan to establish a regional contingency stockpile for Taiwan. Ensures that Taiwan is aligned with the U.S. National Defense Industrial Strategy to expand global defense production, increase supply chain security and resilience, and meet the defense needs of Taiwan.

Ukraine: Modifies the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) by adding an additional two-year period of performance for the authority. Requires a report on DOD efforts to identify, disseminate, and implement lessons learned from the war in Ukraine.

Countering Iranian Weapons Transfers: Requires congressional notification for any weapons or related materials transferred by Iran to an Iranian-linked group or second country. Requires an annual report on actions the U.S. is taking to counter and deter weapons transfers.

Afghan Special Immigrant Visas: Expresses support for the extension of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghans.

Southern Border: Promotes information sharing among DOD personnel and other federal, state, and local authorities deployed to the southwest border. Authorizes DOD to support civil authorities to detect, identify, and monitor uncrewed aircraft systems that cross international land borders of the United States.

Counternarcotics: Requires DOD to report on improvements to combatant command coordination and use of the Command and Control of the Information Environment capability to its counternarcotics and counter-transnational organized crime activities. Requires DOD to conduct an assessment of types and sources of drugs causing drug overdoses on military installations.

Military Personnel Confirmation Restoration Act: Includes bipartisan legislation Kaine cosponsored to restore backpay to flag officers whose promotions were impacted by Senator Tommy Tuberville’s (R-AL) hold on military promotions.

COMMAND Act: Includes Kaine’s bipartisan bill to require commissioned officers to receive training on the U.S. Constitution, including instruction on civilian control of the military.