Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) announced passage of her measure amending bankruptcy law to support the eligibility of disabled veterans experiencing financial hardship. The amendment was included in today’s vote to pass H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA).

“Our veterans should never be penalized for injuries they sustained in service to our country,” McBath said. “I’m thrilled that my bipartisan amendment was included in today’s NDAA legislation. This measure is about protecting those who have served, their families, and their wellbeing. I applaud my colleagues for supporting my amendment and look forward to continuing to support America’s veterans.”

“In this era, where partisanship is the norm, the Democratic members of the Armed Services Committee have worked diligently to preserve our Committee’s long-standing tradition of bipartisanship, and the FY20 NDAA is a reflection of that tradition,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith. “While this year’s NDAA contains bipartisan provisions, our new Democratic majority has had an undeniable impact on the contents of this bill. Thanks to the leadership of Mrs. McBath and other members, the bill passed today reflects our Democratic values, supports our troops, and provides for a strong national defense enterprise.”

The McBath (D-GA)/Steube (R-FL) amendment would exclude Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense veteran’s disability payments from the monthly income calculation used for bankruptcy means tests.

The authorization of the FY 2020 National Defense package:

  • Supports Our Troops and Authorizes
    • Funding for a 3.1% military pay raise;
    • Tenant bill of rights, protecting families in privatized military housing
    • $11.5 billion for military construction, family housing, and prior BRAC clean up activities
    • Doubles reimbursement amounts for spouse licenses and certification programs to $1,000
    • Additional $121.3 million to clean up perfluorinated (PFAS) chemicals in drinking water on/near military bases
    • Birth control parity to eliminate all cost-sharing for any contraception services obtained through TRICARE Prime and TRICARE Select
    • Access to emergency contraception for sexual assault survivors at military treatment facilities; and
    • A “safe-to-report” policy at military service academies, which allows sexual assault victims to report sexual assault without fear of discipline for minor collateral misconduct.
  • Builds Strong National Defense
    • Authorizes a robust defense budget of $733 billion, while cutting $17 billion in wasteful funding.
    • Redirects $8 billion from wasteful programs to those that will get our troops and military families the equipment and support they need.
    • Requires continued collaboration in Asia to contain North Korean threat and prohibits troop reduction in South Korea below 28,000.
    • Includes numerous provisions requiring the Department of Defense to plan for and respond to the effects of climate change.
  • Ensures Oversight & Accountability
    • Implements strong Congressional oversight over the use of the military
    • Identifies legal and policy frameworks associated with each military engagement
    • Restricts military taskings with adverse readiness impacts
    • Includes Congressional oversight of U.S. military activity in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
    • Requires an annual audit to help identify waste in the Department of Defense and requires the Department of Defense to submit a plan for achieving an unmodified audit opinion within five years.