Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

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Maloney Scores Major Wins for Hudson Valley in Defense Spending Package

Jul 12, 2019
Press Release

Maloney Scores Major Wins for Hudson Valley in Defense Spending Package

WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included major wins for the Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney championed. Rep. Maloney’s bill, the Know Your Vets Act, passed in the defense package, as did a provision to clean up PFOS/PFOA contaminants in water near military bases. The bill will also give our troops a 3.1 percent pay raise.

“My father was a veteran, so starting on day one I made a promise to do everything I can to support our troops and veterans - and I’m following through on that promise. I’m proud to announce that bills I’ve authored and championed – bills to better serve veterans, protect the health and safety of our cadets and the West Point community, and clean up the water in our neighborhoods – have passed the House and will soon pass the Senate. It’s time our servicemembers and veterans have the support and resources they need and deserve,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Maloney’s amendment, the Know Your Vets Act, was included in the National Defense Authorization Act:

H.R. 2554, 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 in 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.

The National Defense Authorization Act also contains provisions to:

Clean Up Water Near Military Sites

This bill will allocate $121.3 million to the National Guard to address PFOS and PFOA exposure and contamination on National Guard bases and in communities near bases, such as Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh.

The bill also requires the EPA to start regulating PFOS and PFOA under the Federal Water Pollution Act. This will give regulators the tools they need to tackle water contamination from PFOS and PFOA in communities in New York and across the country.

In 2016, studies revealed that the City of Newburgh’s municipal water supply was contaminated by PFOS runoff from firefighting foam used at Stewart Air National Guard Base. Although safe alternative water sources have been in use for years, many of the city’s residents show blood levels of PFOS and PFOA above the national average, and the original water source contains levels of PFOS above what the EPA has deemed to be safe.

For years, Rep. Maloney has championed efforts to clean up the city of Newburgh’s drinking water, and set a clear national standard for acceptable levels of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. He has also pushed for supplemental funds for communities impacted by this water contamination. 

Support our Servicemembers and Their Families

This bill will authorize a 3.1 percent pay raise for our servicemembers, and includes provisions to improve military housing, promote diversity in the military, and overturn the ban on trans people serving in the military.

The NDAA also cuts $17 billion in wasteful defense spending, allocating $733 billion to the Department of Defense, defense-related activities of the Department of Energy, and Overseas Contingency Operations.