Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York

Office Locations

Two Maloney Bills Signed into Law

Dec 13, 2017
Press Release
Measures to Protect Servicemembers, Study Health Effects of Water Contamination in Newburgh Become Law as Part of Defense Bill

WASHINGTON — Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced that two pieces of his legislation passed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed yesterday by the President. The Investing in Testing Act will require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the long-term health effects of PFOS/PFOA contamination, and The Protecting Servicemembers from Debt Collectors Act would stop debt collectors from contacting servicemembers’ commanding officers in an attempt to collect payment.

The Investing in Testing Act requires the CDC to conduct a five-year, $7 million federal study into the long-term health effects of PFOS/PFOA exposure.

“We know folks in Newburgh have higher levels of PFOS than the national average, but we don’t really know what that means their health,” said Rep. Maloney. “My bill will get the CDC moving so we can get better science in this area and give residents some idea of what to be looking out for.”

The study will focus on contamination of drinking water, ground water, and other relevant exposure pathways. The study will be overseen by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and be conducted in concert with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, National Institute of Environmental Health and the Department of Defense.

Rep. Maloney originally introduced the legislation in October of 2016, and reintroduced the bill in February in response to water contamination concerns in Newburgh. Although the provision was not initially included in the NDAA, Rep. Maloney and his colleagues wrote a letter to the committee responsible for determining what would be in the final bill and requested that the legislation include a provision to require CDC testing.

The Protecting Servicemembers from Debt Collectors Act requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide clear protections for servicemembers from predatory debt collection practices.

“Americans who sign up to put on the uniform should have the same protections from predatory debt collectors as civilians – and frankly it’s ridiculous that they don’t already,” said Rep. Maloney. “My bill will fix that problem and make sure protections for our servicemembers are in-line with what exists in the civilian sector.”  

The bill requires the DoD to update their regulations to bring them into parity with civilian regulations within 180 days. A 2016 report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) pointed to the fact that 46 percent of all complaints from servicemembers in the previous year were regarding debt collection practices. The bill requires the Secretary of Defense to review and update their regulations to ensure they comply with federal consumer protection laws regarding the collection of debt for servicemembers.

The bill passed in the House of Representatives in July and through the Senate in September. Last year, this legislation was included in the FY 2017 NDAA and passed the House but was not passed by the Senate.