Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2670, the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes several key legislative priorities she authored that support Naval Base Ventura County, ensure continued funding for critical firefighting response aircraft, and support our service members, while also investing in future capabilities that make the United States safer and stronger.
“As the elected representative of Naval Base Ventura County, advancing our nation’s security and providing our service members with the support they need is one of my top priorities. I am pleased that the final conference agreement will provide a 5.2% base pay increase for service members and their families. Those who serve our country in uniform should not have to struggle to put food on the table or afford basic necessities, so we must ensure pay and benefits keep up with inflation,” said Congresswoman Brownley.
The conference report that accompanies the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also invests in service members, civilian workforce and military families by expanding eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance program, making significant investments in military family housing and improving Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) eligibility for federal employees.
“I am committed to continuing to work with the Biden Administration to continue to support Naval Base Ventura County and our military personnel and their families, both at home and around the world, so they have the resources they need to carry out their missions in defense of our country.
The FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference agreement also authorizes $20 million for the improved Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), which is state-of-the-art technology and aircraft essential to fighting wildfires in California and throughout the country.
“Ventura County has seen its share of wildfires that take lives, upend families, and destroy property, yet the airborne firefighting system we use is over 20 years old. This funding to upgrade the system and its capabilities will better prepare the National Guard, including the 146th Airlift Wing, for its role in firefighting,” said Brownley. “I am so pleased that the final conference agreement authorizes $20 million for the improved MAFFS to ensure our personnel have the resources necessary to do their job effectively and that their efforts be fully supported by DOD.
“While this bill is far from perfect, it does provide our military with the resources it needs to carry out its mission to protect our country and its people, support our service members, strengthen our security, and advance our leadership in the world. Congress has a responsibility to uphold these values, and I take this responsibility very seriously. That is why I will continue to work to support Naval Base Ventura County and all the men and women who serve our nation in uniform.”