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Upton, House Advance Critical Defense Bill

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes Michigan priorities, passes by wide bipartisan margin

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Washington, May 24, 2018 | Tom Wilbur (202-225-3761) | comments

U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in voting to advance the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a bipartisan 351 to 66 vote. The NDAA is the primary way Congress meets its most important constitutional obligation: To “provide for the common defense” of our country. Upton also released the following statement:

“Our military faces grave challenges on multiple fronts. This is why it is so important we support this bipartisan legislation that improves our military readiness, gives our men and women in uniform a well-deserved pay raise, increases Pentagon accountability, and more.

“This year’s NDAA also focuses on advancing priorities important to folks here in Michigan. We’re taking action to solve the issue of PFAS contamination and reaffirming the critical importance of the Soo Locks to our military goals.  

“Working together, we will continue to stand in support of our military, their families, and our readiness. They deserve nothing less.”

This year’s NDAA is focused on advancing Michigan priorities in two main ways. The first is continuing to authorize funding for a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study on the health impact of Per-and Plyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in water sources as well as contamination remediation at the Department of Defense (DoD) sites. PFAS are useful chemicals when it comes to doing things such as putting out fires, but they can cause serious health issues if they leach into water sources. In Michigan, elevated levels of these chemicals have been discovered in and around several current and former military instillations. The Michigan Congressional Delegation has been united in making PFAS remediation at these sites a priority for the DoD and will continue to do so as the legislative process moves forward.

The second is report language affirming the national security importance of the Soo Locks. The Michigan Congressional Delegation stands together on the importance of the Soo Locks to our nation’s military. Specifically, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and all involved in executive branch agencies, are urged through this year’s NDAA to expedite necessary reviews, analysis, and approvals in order to speed the much-need upgrades at the Soo Locks.

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