ICYMI: New Mexican Members of Congress Fight for Our State in 2020 NDAA

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ICYMI: New Mexican Members of Congress Fight for Our State in 2020 NDAA

2020 NDAA includes millions in funding for military bases, labs, PFAS clean up

NM Delegation fought for amendments that directly benefit New Mexicans including paid family leave, increased military pay, and White Sands designation as a National Park

Congress this week passed the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the bill to President Trump’s desk. Each member of New Mexico’s Congressional delegation played a critical role in ensuring that this bill would benefit our state and improve the lives of hard-working New Mexican families. 

New Mexico’s U.S. Senator Tom Udall fought to include key provisions in this bill that would protect and aid families affected by PFAS groundwater contamination and offer paid family leave for all federal employees. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Udall is fighting for strong funding to support New Mexico’s bases, labs, and installations, and the men and women who serve and work there. 

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich used his position as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, to strengthen New Mexico’s military installations, national laboratories, and economic development.  He also led the effort to designate White Sands as a National Park, which will bring millions in revenue to the surrounding area. 

In the House of Representatives, Congressman Ben Ray Luján worked specifically to include the PFAS Damages Act, which will provide necessary relief to certain families and small businesses impacted by the exposure to PFAS chemicals.

A member of the House Armed Services Committee, U.S. Representative Deb Haaland worked to include elements of the bill to provide paid family leave, housing protections for military families, and a necessary raise for service members. 

As the proud Representative for New Mexico families living at Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range, U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small worked across the aisle to advocate for giving military families a pay raise and paid family leave.

“New Mexico is lucky to have U.S. Senators and Representatives who are so focused on what’s best for their constituents,” said DPNM Chair Marg Elliston. “Our delegation was able to work across the aisle to include provisions that will directly benefit hard-working New Mexicans, including paid family leave, PFAS contamination relief, and designating White Sands as a National Park. We’re thankful to have public servants in Congress who are putting the people of New Mexico first.” 

See how New Mexico’s delegation fought to secure resources in our state in the 2020 NDAA:

Santa Fe New Mexican- Fed defense bill could help toxic cleanup in New Mexico 

“A massive defense spending bill that includes provisions meant to help the Air Force clean up chemical contamination in New Mexico and elsewhere has been sent to the President Donald Trump for his signature. The U.S. Senate approved the $738 billion defense budget 86-8 Tuesday, a week after it cleared the House. New Mexico’s congressional delegation has touted provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act meant to help the Air Force reel in widespread chemical contamination at bases across the country, including at the Cannon and Holloman Air Force bases in New Mexico.”

Los Alamos Daily Post- New Mexico Congressional Delegation’s PFAS legislation Included In National Defense Bill

“The measure would ensure that the Department of Defense (DOD) takes precautionary action to prevent human exposure, including through agricultural products, provide alternative water or water treatment for contaminated agricultural water, and acquire contagious property that is contaminated. The measure also would mandate that the Department of Defense (DOD) create a plan of action to clean up contaminated sites nationwide and take all necessary steps to prevent further risks to public health.”

Albuquerque Journal- White Sands’ national park status in Trump’s hands

“President Donald Trump’s signature is all that is needed for White Sands National Monument to become a national park…The national park designation isn’t the only way the legislation would affect New Mexico. The $738 billion defense spending bill also includes a 3.1% pay increase for members of the armed forces, provisions to address firefighting foam contamination around military bases, such as Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo and Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, as well as $63.7 million for military construction projects in New Mexico and 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all workers across the federal government.”

Carlsbad Current Argus- White Sands to become New Mexico’s next national park if federal defense bill passes

“The designation of a national park at White Sands would put southern New Mexico ‘on the map,’ Heinrich said, by increasing national awareness of the site and increasing tourism. That could boost the economy of southern New Mexico, both Otero and Doña Ana counties, he said, while increasing cultural awareness. ‘I think it’ll mean more tourism and more visitation but also more attention from the nation and the park service to just what a unique place White Sands is,’ Heinrich said.”


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