Office of Rep. Marilyn Strickland announcement.
Today (Dec. 14, 2023), U.S. Representative Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Strickland secured several provisions to address quality of life issues facing servicemembers in the FY2024 NDAA.
“Since my first day in Congress, I have been committed to addressing quality-of-life issues facing servicemembers and their families here at JBLM and across our nation,” said Rep. Strickland. “In this year’s defense policy bill, I led the fight to improve housing access, update calculations for the basic needs allowance, re-evaluate the cost of living allowance to consider the rising cost of childcare, and more.”
Housing: A report directing the Department to assess the cost-effectiveness of housing unaccompanied junior enlisted servicemembers, and a report on the financial viability of military privatized housing projects.
Childcare & Compensation: Directing the Department to report on the methodology of Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) calculation and account for the price of childcare and improvements to the Special Needs Inclusion Coordinator pilot program
Firefighting: Secured $15 million for firefighting equipment. The Army has historically underfunded Fire and Emergency Services.
Food Access: The NDAA FY24 authorizes the Secretaries to remove the military housing allowance from income calculations for the Basic Needs Allowance, increasing access to a critical food security program.
Healthcare: A report on current resources available to prevent perinatal mental health conditions, including evidence-based programs, the availability of behavioral health providers, and resources for pregnant and postpartum members of the armed forces and their dependents at military treatment facilities, and a report on hiring practices to address nurses shortages at military hospitals.
Strengthening Joint Base Lewis-McChord: Funding for new on-base barrack housing to ensure servicemembers are safely and adequately housed. In total, over $226 million for JBLM military construction, maintenance, barracks, and more.
Stickland is supportive of more provisions that include: a $150 million increase in funding for HBCUs and the direction of the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a briefing on HBCU partnership plans in STEM fields.
Strickland also held the line against MAGA extremists to make sure that provisions that threaten Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), reproductive health, gender care, and COVID-19 vaccinations were all kept out of the FY2024 NDAA.