FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes Hickenlooper provisions for Colorado’s military, water priorities
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper today applauded Senate passage of the annual National Defense Authorization Act, legislation that sets national security policy and recommended spending levels for the Department of Defense. Congress has passed the NDAA on a bipartisan basis for 62 consecutive years. The House passed the NDAA last week and the bill now heads to President Biden’s desk to become law.
“Our national security is absolutely essential,” said Hickenlooper. “Congress is investing in our military service members so they can continue selflessly defending America.”
The bill authorizes a number of significant provisions that will strengthen Colorado’s military presence and American global engagement, such as:
- A 4.6% pay raise for our troops, the largest increase for members of the U.S. military in 20 years
- The Military Housing Affordability Act, which Hickenlooper co-sponsors and will extend the increased stipend military families currently receive for off-base housing
- Tens of millions in funding for Impact Aid for military dependents with disabilities
- Elements of the Military Justice Improvement Act, which Hickenlooper co-sponsors and will remove the prosecution of certain crimes like sexual assault from the military chain of command
- $247 million for NORAD/NORTHCOM at Cheyenne Mountain Complex
- $14.2 million for the Fire Station Support Building at Fort Carson
- Continues the FireGuard mission in Colorado
- $15 million for a University Space Consortium, which develops advanced technologies for use by Space Force
- A directive that DoD must begin to transition to alternative fuel vehicles
- $5 billion to prepare for, and respond to, future pandemics
- Bilateral support to our partners in Ukraine and Taiwan
- A five-year reauthorization of food security programs to address global hunger, which Hickenlooper co-sponsors.
The bill also includes Hickenlooper-supported provisions for Western water priorities through the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Specifically, provisions included will allow the City of Denver to seek reimbursement using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds for expenses on the South Platte River & Tributaries project.
In addition, the WRDA:
- Authorizes an additional $10 million for water infrastructure in Boulder County, including wastewater infrastructure and stormwater management
- Allows the Army Corps of Engineers to invest significant funds to support aquifer recharge projects to help address Western drought
- Gives the Army Corps of Engineers broader authority to consider a range of climate threats in carrying out its mission