Three Bills Authored by Maloney Pass House As Part of NDAA
Washington – Three pieces of legislation authored by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) were passed by the House of Representatives today as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Passed by a vote of 300-119, the NDAA reauthorizes important national defense programs and includes: the extension of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area; an additional $2 million in the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District through the Impact Aid program; and authorization of the final installment of funding for the construction of new barracks at West Point.
“This bipartisan bill keeps our country safe and continues our commitment to America’s troops, veterans, and their families. Our service members make such tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe - we must continue to uphold our promise to the men and women serving our country by investing in their healthcare, their families, and their communities,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.
Additionally, the bill gives our troops a pay increase and makes significant changes to provisions addressing sexual assault in the military, requiring the Secretary of Defense to consider the preference of sexual assault victims as to whether offenses are prosecuted by court-martial or in a civilian court.
“Recent reports show that sexual assaults in the military are increasing – it is obvious the current system of handling sexual assault in the military isn’t working for our men and women in uniform. Until we get it right, we have to continue fighting for reforms to prevent sexual assault and ensure all victims have access to justice,” said Maloney.
Maloney noted his opposition to provisions allowing the Department of Defense to reprogram funds to carry out the Syria train-and-equip program to combat ISIL.
“I continue to have serious concerns about immersing our country in the Syrian civil war. Before providing taxpayer dollars to arm Syrian rebels, the American people need answers to critical questions about our allies, short and long term objectives, exit strategy and risks of engaging in a broader conflict in the Middle East,” concluded Maloney.
Key provisions secured by Maloney:
- Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area: In June 2013, Rep. Maloney introduced legislation, H.R. 2407, to reauthorize the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. First authorized in 1996, this area has been subject to short term extensions and was expected to expire in 2015. Without Rep. Maloney’s reauthorization bill, the area designation would cease to exist and would not be eligible to apply for matching federal funding to preserve and promote historical, cultural, recreational, and natural sites in the region. The legislation included in the NDAA would extend the authorization until 2021. The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area links over 100 individual sites that promote tourism and recreation in the region while showcasing the Hudson Valley’s unique role in American history and development. A 2013 study found that The Hudson River Valley NHA brings in $584,986,026 million annually to the New York economy, supports 6,530 jobs and generates over $66 million in tax revenue.
- Highland Falls Impact Aid Funds: In May 2014, Rep. Maloney introduced and passed an amendment to ensure Highland Falls does not lose $2 million in funding for the next three years. As part of the Impact Aid program, an artificial cap prevented Highland Falls district from getting its full share of aid, shortchanging it by approximately $2 million until 2013. Senator Charles Schumer successfully included legislative language in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that changed the federal funding formula to lift this cap, but this temporary extension expires on January 2, 2015. The land within the Highland Falls School District is approximately 93% exempt from property taxation due to wholly exempt Federal and State owned land. The acquisition of land by the United States Military Academy at West Point accounts for approximately 72% of this exempt property, while New York State parklands and other property accounts for the remaining 21%.
- Authorization of Final Installment of $58 Million for Barracks: Since joining Congress, Maloney has worked to authorize and secure funding for construction barracks at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Specifically, this legislation authorizes the final installment of $58 million for construction of barracks at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Rep. Maloney previously secured funding for this project, which began construction in November 2013. Cadets are currently living in overcrowded and outdated facilities, some dating back to 1895.