House Armed Services subcommittees are continuing to mark up the fiscal 2020 defense policy bill. Recent subcommittee actions include:
- The Readiness subcommittee plans to increase oversight of privatized military housing in its fiscal 2020 defense policy legislation, but current provider contracts are limiting its reach. The subcommittee has dropped language addressing the contracts for fear of sparking litigation, according to a CQ report.
- The Readiness panel’s draft bill would prohibit installations from using PFAS-based firefighting foam in nonemergency situations. It also would require DOD to transition away from using the chemicals, which have been found in drinking water.
- The Military Personnel subcommittee advanced its portion of the bill Tuesday. It authorizes a 3.1% pay raise for troops, a basic needs allowance for certain low-income troops and higher reimbursements for military spouses earning new job certifications and licenses when moving base to base.
- The Personnel panel’s draft approves the administration’s request to increase troops by 7,700 next year. Active-duty levels would increase by 6,215, and reserve levels would increase by 1,507.
- The Seapower subcommittee’s draft language would block the Navy from retiring the aircraft carrier USS Truman early. The Navy had requested retiring the Truman in its 2020 budget and using the savings to pay for advanced technologies such as unmanned vessels. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both said the administration supports refueling the Truman instead of retiring it.