Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff led successful bipartisan efforts in the Senate to strengthen national security and enhance quality of life for Georgia’s servicemembers, military families, and veterans.
Tonight, Sen. Ossoff helped pass the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes over a dozen of his bills and priorities to upgrade barracks; improve servicemembers’ and military families’ access to mental health care; increase oversight of privatized housing; help junior-enlisted servicemembers and their families afford housing; expand access to mammograms for female veterans; and authorize key infrastructure and quality of life projects at installations across Georgia.
The bipartisan bill also includes a historic 5.2% pay increase for servicemembers — an increase over last year’s 4.6% pay raise.
“Georgians are united in our commitment to a strong national defense and in our gratitude to military servicemembers, military families, and veterans,” Sen. Ossoff said. “That’s why I’ve helped bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass this bipartisan legislation, which will strengthen our national defense and enhance military quality of life.”
Sen. Ossoff secured inclusion of several key pieces of legislation within the NDAA to strengthen national security and enhance quality of life for Georgia’s servicemembers and military families:
- Bipartisan Military Facilities Upgrades Act (Ossoff/Lankford): A key provision from Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will upgrade old and failing barracks by giving the Armed Services the flexibility to use operations and maintenance (O&M) funding to replace barracks deemed to be in substandard condition.
- Bipartisan Junior Enlisted Housing Affordability Act (Ossoff/Tillis): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will help junior enlisted servicemembers with families afford housing by improving how the Department of Defense (DoD) calculates housing allowances for junior enlisted servicemembers with dependents.
- Bipartisan Military Mental Health Professional Support Act (Ossoff/Braun): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill cuts red tape by removing caps on the number of military mental and behavioral health specialists, helping more servicemembers access care.
- Bipartisan Military Families Mental Health Services Act (Ossoff/Cramer): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will waive out-of-pocket costs for military families on TRICARE for their first three outpatient mental health visits per year, empowering them to receive the treatment they need.
- Bipartisan Servicemember Mental Health Support Act (Ossoff/Moran): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will help servicemembers access mental health care bystrengthening oversight of Department of Defense (DoD) policies for referring active-duty personnel to outside mental health care specialists.
- Bipartisan Military Spouse Career Support Act (Ossoff/Schmitt): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will support military spouses’ careers by expanding the reimbursement of licensure and business costs to spouses of servicemembers who are transferring to the reserve component.
- Bipartisan Investing in VETS Act (Ossoff/Ernst): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill will help service-disabled veteran business owners compete for Federal government contracts by requiring the Federal government and its 24 agencies to set a goal to award at least five percent of contracts each fiscal year to service-disabled Veteran-owned Small Business, which is the same requirement in place for Woman-Owned Small Businesses and Small Disadvantaged Businesses.
- Fort Gordon Child Development Center Expansion Act (Ossoff/Warnock): Sens. Ossoff and Warnock’s bill extends the authorization needed to ensure completion of a new child development center at Fort Gordon.
- Fort Gillem Defense Forensics Enhancement Act (Ossoff/Warnock): Sens. Ossoff and Warnock’s bill extends the authorization needed to ensure completion of a new forensic laboratory at the Fort Gillem enclave.
- Robins Air Force Base Battle Management Enhancement Act: Sen. Ossoff’s bill authorizes construction of a new Battle Management Operations Complex at Robins AFB, which will support new missions at the installation.
- Fort Gordon Cyber Center Enhancement Act: Sen. Ossoff’s bill authorizes construction of new classrooms at the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon.
- Military Housing Readiness Council Act (Warren/Hirono/Ossoff): Sen. Ossoff’s bill with Sens. Warren and Hirono creates a new oversight council at the Department of Defense to oversee and make recommendations on privatized military housing.
- Expanding access to mammograms: (Ossoff, Lummis, Hirono, Tillis, Duckworth, Blackburn, Klobuchar): Following Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan push to increase access to mammograms, the NDAA authorizes $10 million for the Office of Women’s Health at the VA to expand mobile mammography initiatives, purchase advanced equipment, and expand services.
- Bipartisan COMFORT Act (Sinema, Sullivan, Shaheen, Ossoff): Sen. Ossoff’s bipartisan bill with Sens. Sinema, Sullivan and Shaheen will help military families access counseling services by authorizing nonmedical military family and life counselors to practice at any military installation regardless of their state of licensure.
- Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay Infrastructure Upgrades: The NDAA includes a provision to authorize key electrical grid improvements at NSB Kings Bay.