Senator Stabenow Secures Important Priorities for Michigan in National Defense Authorization Act

Bill improves effectiveness of Stabenow law to help service members transition to civilian life, strengthens Buy American laws, addresses PFAS contamination

Thursday, July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) secured important priorities for Michigan in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which passed the Senate by a margin of 86-14. The bill now heads to conference with the House of Representatives.


“We’re making important investments to ensure our veterans are getting the support they need when they return home and American taxpayer dollars are used to purchase products made in America,” said Senator Stabenow. “Strengthening our Buy American laws supports Michigan manufacturers, workers, and our defense industry and also will help build the U.S. strategic national stockpile of personal protective equipment.”


Senator Stabenow secured important provisions in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act to support Michigan, including:


  • Improving the effectiveness of Stabenow’s bipartisan law to support Michigan veterans. Passed last year as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, Stabenow’s law reforms the Defense Department’s Transition Assistance Program, which provides counseling, training, and assistance to servicemembers who are leaving the military for civilian life. This bill will ensure her law is being implemented effectively so returning servicemembers and their families are properly connected to local community groups – including veterans’ service organizations – that can provide employment, healthcare, and other transition services.


  • Strengthening Buy American laws to support Michigan manufacturers. This bill will address loopholes in our Buy American laws to encourage the Department of Defense to purchase domestic products instead of foreign products. The Department of Defense will be required to provide an annual report to Congress on the use of a waiver to bypass the Berry Amendment, which requires the Department to purchase food, clothing, fabrics, and hand or measuring tools from U.S. manufacturers. This requirement will support American-made products including personal protective equipment.


  • Addressing PFAS contamination. This bill authorizes $15 million in funding to continue a health study on the impacts of PFAS exposure, which is critical to establishing stronger federal standards for PFAS.


  • Supporting the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps.  This bill will ensure the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps is among the youth and charitable organizations that receive assistance from the National Guard for use of their military installations. This will help ensure Michigan’s 25 units and their more than 250 Naval Sea Cadets will continue to benefit from training and activities at National Guard bases in the State.


The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act also includes:


  • A 3 percent pay raise for our men and women in uniform.


  • A requirement that the Defense Department remove names, symbols, and monuments on military bases and assets that commemorate or honor the Confederacy.