RELEASE: House Passes Defense Bill Including Gottheimer Provisions to Mitigate Foreign Financing of Terrorism, Combat Online Foreign and Domestic Extremism, and Improve Servicemembers’ Quality of Life

Sep 24, 2021
Press

Gottheimer votes to increase pay of servicemembers, combat sexualt assault and harrasment in the military, bolster U.S. leadership of 5G technology, and create a National Digital Reserve Corps.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday September 22, 2021, the House of Representatives of Representatives passed key provisions authored by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5)  — to combat foreign financing of terrorist cells, address foreign terrorist organizations’ use of social media platforms, report on how restoring the State and Local Tax (SALT deduction) would benefit servicemembers,  report on the financing practices of domestic terrorists, publicize lead water testing results near military bases, and foster a more equitable LESO/100 program for local municipalities — as part of the House’s annual national defense policy bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)for Fiscal Year 2022. 

“This week, the House passed a strong, bipartisan defense bill to help equip and prepare our servicemembers to carry out their mission and defend our country against 21st century threats. This bipartisan bill includes six key provisions I introduced to support our servicemembers and reserves, to fight both global and domestic terror, especially on social media platforms, to analyze how SALT cap repeal would benefit our servicemembers in states like New Jersey, and to stand up for our brave military families by ensuring they have clean, lead-free drinking water,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “I’ll continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our active duty military, combat terrorism and violent domestic extremism, and strengthen America’s national security.”

Gottheimer’s provisions passed by the House as part of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 include:

·  Combating the financing of foreign terrorism: The legislation directs the Treasury Secretary to provide Congress with a list of foreign financial institutions that have illegally financed state-sponsored terrorism and anyone sanctioned by the U.S. government. This effort will help thwart global terrorism.

·  Combating foreign terrorist organizations spreading extremist propaganda on social media: The legislation directs the Director of National Intelligence to report on the use of online social media by designated foreign terrorist organizations and analyze the threat posed to U.S. national security by online radicalization.

·  Addressing how restoring the SALT deduction benefits military families: The legislation directs the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to report to Congress on the nationwide costs of living for servicemembers. Specifically, the report will study how a SALT cap repeal will alleviate costs for service men and women living in high-tax states.

·  Combating domestic terrorism financing and patterns: The legislation directs the federal government to study how domestic terrorists and violent extremists secure financing, including if these practices mimic those of foreign terrorists.

·  Protecting from dangerous lead water: The legislation requires the Department of Defense to publicly disclose their lead testing results in areas immediately adjacent to a military installation, a formerly used defense site, or a facility where military activities are conducted by the National Guard of a State.

·  Improving access to the LESO/1033 federal equipment program for first responder departments in smaller communities: The legislation directs the Department of Defense to report on the equity of the LESO/1033 program, a federal initiative that delivers equipment sitting idly and that might otherwise be destroyed, to local first responders. Specifically, Gottheimer’s provision will identify disparities in access between larger municipal departments and smaller ones. Additionally, the report will identify potential reforms to the LESO/1033 program.

The bill passed today also includes: 

·  A 2.7% pay raise for members of the military.

·  Stronger parental leave provisions for caregiving servicemembers, specifically by expanding access to child care.

·  Protections for military communities from PFAS chemicals.

·  Better access to health care, including mental health care and reproductive care.

·  Provisions to combat sexual assault and harassment in the military. 

Additionally, Gottheimer voted for historic investments in research and development, including:

·  Nearly $1 billion in new cybersecurity investments.

·  New investments in artificial intelligence.

·  Investments in new partnerships with the private sector and academia, including Historically black colleges and universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.

The bill also contains bipartisan language supported by Gottheimer, to both establish the National Digital Reserve Corps, which would allow private sector tech talent to work for the federal government for 30 days per calendar year, to take on short-term digital, cybersecurity, and AI projects, and direct the Department of Labor to study obstacles to employment facing certain Afghan SIVs and other eligible populations legally present in the United States.

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