In the News

Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01), chair of the Tactical Air and Land Forces (TAL) Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), voted to pass the Senate amendment to H.R. 7776, known as James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). The NDAA strengthens U.S. national security by investing in U.S. warfighters and the equipment they rely on, and the American workers who form the backbone of America’s national security industrial base.

“Today, I voted to strengthen America’s defense by supporting the hardworking servicemembers who serve and protect our nation,” said Congressman Norcross. “The bill includes the critical funding for Humvee safety that I championed for months, helping to ensure that the vehicles used by our troops do not put them at undue risk of harm. It also includes provisions I wrote to prioritize access to mental health services for our men and women in uniform because I firmly believe we must take care of those to take care of us. Additionally, the bill contains investments in research and development efforts back in South Jersey that are critical to our national defense and regional economy. I thank my House colleagues for this bipartisan effort to defend our vital national interests. Safeguarding our national security will always be one of my top priorities in Congress.”

The annual defense bill touches all aspects of the Department of Defense (DoD), from equipment modernization efforts that ensure the U.S. Armed Forces can meet future threats to wages for construction workers and teachers working on U.S. military bases.

Congressman Norcross takes seriously his responsibility to ensure members of the U.S. military are supplied with the equipment and training they need to dominate the battlefield. His track record of standing up for the women and men in uniform includes a provision in the FY23 NDAA that addresses adequate mental health support services through TRICARE and a provision that supplies an additional $183 million to address safety issues in Humvees that had led to a recent string of deadly accidents.

FY23 NDAA includes provisions secured by Rep. Norcross for South Jersey:

  • $25 million for research and engineering projects enabling rapid entry and sustainment in the Arctic and other cold regions; high-performance polymer and coatings; and the survivability of turret gunners being conducted at Rowan University.
  • Over $2.6 billion for the KC-46A Pegasus air tanker program, including 15 aircraft, which will benefit the refueling mission at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
  • Funding for additional V-22 Ospreys, which will enhance national security while providing stability and predictability to many workers in New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District who play a critical role in our national industrial base.
  • Directing the DoD to provide a status update on its efforts to reduce the risk posed by forever chemicals/PFAS to servicemembers and defense workers.
  • Improved servicemember mental health by requiring the Government Accountability Office to examine the types of mental health benefits provided under TRICARE and identify any limits that are not also imposed on non-mental health services to promote parity of mental and physical health.
  • Securing significant investments in clean energy and energy efficiency at DoD, harnessing solar and electric technologies to ensure that our defense facilities and vehicle fleets are resilient to climate disasters and energy disruptions.
  • Water Resources Development Act provisions, including:
    • A study to better understand flooding risks and to help flood risk management in Camden and Gloucester counties, including Brooklawn, Bellmawr, Camden City, Gloucester City, Westville, Mt. Ephraim, and Runnemede.
    • $119 million for the City of Camden’s outdated combined wastewater and stormwater management infrastructure to reduce overflows and flooding.
    • $20 million for the Lower Delaware River Basin, including projects for wastewater treatment and related facilities (such as sewer overflow infrastructure improvements and other stormwater management) in the South Jersey region neighboring the Delaware River Bay and nearby rivers and streams.

The House’s version of FY23 NDAA also includes a range of key national security priorities for House Democrats:

  • Vital benefits for service members and their families, including a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilian personnel, 2.4% inflation bonuses for service members earning less than $45,000/year, and a $15/hour minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts.
  • Improved health care for federal firefighters, a long-sought Democratic priority to make it easier for federally employed firefighters who contract certain diseases to qualify for federal workers’ compensation.
  • Resources for U.S. allies and partners, including $1 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and funding for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) and Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI).
  • New investments in science and technology competitiveness, including $275 million in additional funding for next-generation capabilities in hypersonics, electronic warfare, directed energy, artificial intelligence, and software.
  • Including a version of the Federal Firefighters Fairness Act – a long-sought Democratic priority to make it easier for federally employed firefighters who contract certain diseases to qualify for federal workers’ compensation.

A summary of the provisions in the FY23 NDAA is available here.