Legislation to Strengthen National Defense Heads to President’s Desk with Provisions Championed by Senator Collins

The NDAA includes provisions important to BIW, PNSY and provides the largest pay increase for members of the armed forces in nearly a decade

Washington, D.C. — By an overwhelming bipartisan majority of 87-10, the Senate passed legislation today that will strengthen our national defense and support our men and women in uniform.  U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, voted in favor of the bill.  The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. 


The fiscal year (FY) 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes $708 billion for national defense so that our military has the resources it needs to confront threats around the globe.  The funding will increase training, accelerate modernization efforts, bolster readiness, and support members of the armed forces.


“This legislation provides essential resources to our military so that it can continue to meet ongoing and emerging threats to our nation and keep the American people secure.  Moreover, it ensures that members of our armed forces have the training and equipment they need to carry out their missions as safely and effectively as possible,” said Senator Collins.  “I am pleased that this bill also supports our men and women in uniform through the largest pay increase in nearly a decade, and it includes provisions that are important to the thousands of Mainers who work in the defense industry.  The overwhelming support this legislation received is indicative of the bipartisan commitment to strengthening our national security.”


Senator Collins advocated for a number of provisions that are important to Maine, including:


Long-Term TDY Reduced Per Diem Repeal.  Repeals the Department of Defense’s (DoD) misguided approach to its long-term temporary duty per diem policy.  Senator Collins has long worked to reverse this harmful policy, which negatively affects our shipyard workers who travel in support of the Navy’s ship maintenance missions and may increase long-term costs. 


PNSY Military Construction.  Authorizes funding for modernizing Dry Dock #1 ($71.4 million in FY19 with the remaining $38.5 million to be authorized next year), extending the portal crane rail ($39.7 million), and replacing the DLA consolidated warehouse ($11.6 million) at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.


DDG-51.  Authorizes the procurement of three Arleigh Burke-class (DDG-51) guided missile destroyers.  It also includes $250 million in additional advanced procurement funds to procure lead materials.


DDG-1000.  Authorizes $271 million for the Zumwalt-class (DDG-1000) guided missile destroyer program.


BRAC.  Prohibits conducting an additional Base Realignment and Closure round. 


Senator Collins also sponsored or cosponsored provisions which were included in the final FY19 NDAA adopted by the Senate, including those related to:


  • Cyber Defense.  Senator Collins introduced with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) an amendment to strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) cyber defense and counter Russian cyber operations.  The amendment would require the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on DoD’s efforts to enhance the U.S.’s leadership and collaboration with our NATO allies on deterring cyberattacks against NATO member states.
  • Yemen.  Senator Collins cosponsored a Senate resolution introduced by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) requiring the Secretary of State to make certain certifications that Saudi Arabia is taking steps to end the civil war in Yemen, alleviate the humanitarian crisis, and reduce the risk to civilians.  The provisions of this resolution were included in the NDAA and expanded to include the United Arab Emirates.
  • Small Businesses.  Senator Collins cosponsored an amendment introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to help small businesses that wish to transition to employee ownership by making it easier for them to access Small Business Administration loan programs.