• 37,174,362
    Dollars Recovered for NY-18
  • 409
    Medals & Awards Returned to Vets
  • 9,023
    Constituent Cases Closed
  • 41
    Bills Signed Into Law

Maloney Priorities for Hudson Valley Included in Defense Package

Dec 12, 2019
Press Release

Maloney Priorities for Hudson Valley Included in Defense Package

Washington D.C. – This week, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) voted in support of the bipartisan conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which contained several legislative priorities he has championed. His statement on the bill is below:

“As the son of a veteran, I know the importance of keeping the promises we make to those who serve this great nation,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “I’m proud to announce that this bipartisan defense bill has big wins for Hudson Valley veterans, families and active servicemembers. Longtime issues and priorities I’ve championed, like better connecting our veterans to essential resources and ensuring our heroes receive the benefits and pay they’ve earned have been included in this strong bipartisan package. 


Rep. Maloney has fought for several provisions within the National Defense Authorization Act. His priorities and bills include:

  • A 3.1% Pay Raise for our Servicemembers:

    This is the largest pay raise for military members in 10 years.
  • Provides Paid Parental Leave for All Federal Employees:

This bill provides all federal employees with 12 weeks paid parental leave in the case of birth, adoption, or fostering. The federal government is the nation’s largest employer.

  • The Know Your Vets Act:

The Know Your Vets Act is a bipartisan bill, introduced by Rep. Maloney, which gives veterans the option to have their final certificate of discharge paperwork, also known as a DD-214 form, sent to a county Veterans Service Officer in their community.

The Know Your Vets Act was inspired by Nelson Rivera, the former Director of the Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services and member of Rep. Maloney’s Veterans Advisory Board. Nelson Rivera shared his concerns with Rep. Maloney about how difficult it was to connect with new veterans returning home to the Hudson Valley, and together they worked to find a solution and make it law.

Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) play an important role in supporting veterans after they return to civilian life. Some veterans find the transition difficult, and can struggle to secure a good job or adjust to a new environment. VSOs provide assistance to veterans, including job skills training, veteran-to-veteran mentorship, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and crisis support and prevention.

After passing the Know Your Vets Act unanimously as an amendment in the House, provisions giving veterans these options were included in the final agreement.

  • The Gregg Wenzel Clandestine Heroes Parity Act:

The Gregg Wenzel Clandestine Heroes Parity Act will broaden death benefits to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers who die while serving America overseas and is named in honor of Gregg David Wenzel, from Monroe, NY, who lost his life in Ethiopia while serving in the CIA. Despite dying while serving on duty overseas, due to a loophole Gregg’s family was unable to obtain the death benefits he had earned through his service to our country. Language from Rep. Maloney’s bill was included as a part of the final agreement.

“My son dedicated his life to keeping our country safe. CIA officers may not get the acknowledgment they deserve, but their sacrifice does not go unnoticed. I’m thankful to Rep. Maloney for honoring Gregg’s memory through this bill, and know families like ours appreciate the work he’s doing to honor the fallen through this bill,” said Mitchell Wenzel, father of Gregg Wenzel.

  • PFAS and Forever Chemical Remediation:

This bill includes provisions championed by Rep. Maloney to prohibit the use of firefighting foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at military installations. These toxic “forever” chemicals have tainted water supplies throughout the Hudson Valley and America. The bill also encourages states and the Defense Department to reach cooperative agreements to address contamination and authorizes the National Guard to access funds for PFAS clean-up.


The National Defense Authorization Act also includes provisions to:

  • Repeal the “Widow’s Tax”: 

The conference report repeals the so-called “Widow’s Tax,” which currently reduces payments to families of fallen service members from the DOD Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) by the amount they receive from the VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program.  The bill repeals this reduction over a three-year period, allowing surviving families to collect both payments in full.    

  • Promote a Sustainable Military:

Contains numerous provisions that require DOD to plan for the impacts of climate change

  • Prevent Sexual and Domestic Violence and Protect Survivors: 

The bill includes several strong provisions to better prevent sexual violence and better protect survivors.

  • Create a More Diverse and Inclusive Military: 

The conference report includes several provisions to promote a more diverse and inclusive military.