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Nat’l Defense Authorization Act passes with amendments included

Amata at hearing
Bill boosts service members pay, health care funding
Source: Uifa’atali Amata's D.C. staff press release

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata is welcoming House passage of the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025, H.R. 8070, sending the $883 billion bill to the U.S. Senate. Each year the NDAA is the largest Defense authorization bill, comprising all aspects of the Pentagon’s operations.

This year’s House bill includes three of Amata’s amendments that were passed into the bill through combined groups of amendments, known as an en bloc package, led by Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL).

Amata’s additions to the Defense bill include one measure specific to American Samoa and two regarding the Pacific region, and are as follows:

         •        Requiring the DOD and National Guard Bureau to do a feasibility study on establishing the National Guard in American Samoa and the CNMI, a successful effort cosponsored by Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.

         •        Requiring a report on the workforce of the Freely Associated States with regards to military construction in the FAS, a policy which has the support of the three FAS governments.

         •        Requiring a report on the use of Chaplains in the Indo-Pacific “to build relationships and partnerships with partners and host countries.”

“Thank you to Chairman Rogers for supporting my amendments, and for his leadership in keeping our military strong and ready, with special attention to the needs here in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Congresswoman Aumua Amata. “Thank you also to my friend, Congressman Sablan, who cosponsored our bipartisan amendment to examine National Guard possibilities for American Samoa and the Northern Marianas.”

“A major highlight of the bill is that it authorizes a pay increase for our hardworking and deserving Service Members at 4.5 percent for most, and 19.5 percent for some junior enlisted (within E-1 through E-4),” she continued. “This bill has many important priorities supporting our Service Members and military families, an additional $600 million above the President’s budget request to improve their housing, along with all operations, training, readiness, equipment, and an increase Pacific security.”

“As reflected in the bill’s title, this year’s effort emphasized Service Members quality of life with landmark investments,” Amata said.

“Along with better compensation, this includes broader calculation of the cost of living allowance and Basic Needs Allowance.

“It boosts the number of nurses and doctors serving Service Members, access to more mental health providers, and in another important improvement, access to dental care for the Reserve through TRICARE.

“It includes new support for military spouses seeking employment when they have relocated, as well as support for childcare of these families while they serve where the country has sent them,” Amata concluded.