WASHINGTON—Several amendments authored by Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) were included in a key national defense bill signed into law by President Trump today. These amendments, which were previously adopted by the House of Representatives on a broad bipartisan basis, include measures to protect military families in private housing and support civilian academic medical centers and teaching hospitals.
“I fought for Orange County’s military families, innovative researchers, and taxpayers, and I’m proud these commonsense initiatives received widespread support by my colleagues,” Congresswoman Porter said. “I’ll continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create policies that put Orange County families first.”
The FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act also key Porter-supported provisions that would implement paid family leave for federal workers and repeal the “widow’s tax” on benefits collected by families of fallen servicemembers.
The four Porter amendments that were included in the bill signed by the President would:
Require an investigation into any retaliation against military families that report issues in private housing
Require DoD to initiate a joint partnership program between the military and civilian academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, and encourage these partnerships to focus on institutions with burn centers
Increase funding for University Research Initiatives, which support scientific advancements and emerging technologies
Extend the public annual report requirement for operational tests and evaluations of major Pentagon systems, which allows Congress and the public detect waste in the Pentagon. This report was set to terminate in January 2021.
Additionally, eleven amendments that Porter co-led were signed into law. These include provisions that:
Requires review of discharge characterizations of military members who were discharged because of their sexual orientation and change the characterizations from dishonorable to honorable where appropriate
Permit any member of the armed services who gives birth to be exempt from deployment for 12 months after such birth unless they request deployment or if it is in the interest of national security
Allow Gold Star and military spouses to terminate lease premises and motor vehicles of service members who incur catastrophic injury or illness or die while in military service
Reauthorizes the Suicide Prevention and Resilience Program
Require Department of Defense to debrief veterans during Transition Assistance Program counselling on how to file claims and where to send paperwork when they transition out of the military
Require the Services to include information on free credit monitoring available to servicemembers as part of their annual financial literacy education briefing
Require an intelligence community determination of parties responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi