Gottheimer Amendments Passed into Final Bill to Combat Terrorism on Social Media, Protect National Guard from COVID-19, Test Lead in Drinking Water in DoD Schools, and Report on SALT Cut Harming NJ Military Families

Jul 20, 2020
Press

Annual defense bill will include crucial Gottheimer amendments

Today, the House passed amendments introduced by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) to be included in the final defense bill which the House is expected to vote on tomorrow. 

Gottheimer’s amendments will: 

  1. Address foreign terrorist organizations’ use of online social media platforms; 
  2. Help National Guard members quarantine safely, to publicize lead water testing results at K-12 schools on military bases;
  3. Report on the high cost of living for NJ military families impacted by cutting the SALT deduction; 
  4. Strengthen banking transparency into financial services benefiting a state sponsor of terrorism, and to combat white supremacy and global terror.

Gottheimer’s amendments will be included within the annual defense funding bill being considered by the full House — the National Defense Authorization Act — setting policy for the U.S. Defense Department for 2021.

“I’m proud that the House will be including my pieces of legislation to fight global terror, especially on social media platforms, to stand up for our brave military families and their kids, and to support our National Guard as they work to get us through this pandemic,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), a member of the House Financial Services Committee’s National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittee. “There is no responsibility I take more seriously than protecting the United States and our families, and standing up for those who risk their lives to do so. My goal with this legislation is to give America’s military the right resources they need to fight terror and keep Americans safe at home and abroad.”

Gottheimer’s amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act include:

  • Combating foreign terrorist organizations spreading extremist propaganda on social media: Requires the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to report to Congress on the use of online social media by U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organizations, and the threat posed to U.S. national security by online radicalization.
  • Providing quarantine protections for National Guard members: Ensures members of the National Guard responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are provided with 14 days of housing to quarantine safely.
  • Protecting children from dangerous lead water: Ensures public disclosure of results from lead and copper testing at Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) K-12 military base schools.
  • Addressing the SALT deduction cut’s impact on military families: Requires the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to prepare an annual report to Congress containing an analysis of the nationwide costs of living for members of the Department of Defense.
  • Strengthening banking transparency into state sponsors of terrorism: Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to report semiannually on financial services provided to benefit a state sponsor of terrorism.
  • Combating white supremacy and global terror: Requires the Department of State to develop a coordinated strategy to counter white identity terrorism globally, assessing the global threat landscape and applying adequate resourcing to programming, information sharing, and designation authorities where applicable.

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