Haaland Seals the Deal for New Mexico Jobs, Climate Resilience, Equality & Military Family Protections in the NDAA

December 8, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s (NM-01) priorities that deliver jobs and funding to New Mexico, fight for equality, and address climate change, passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2021 (NDAA). The 2021 NDAA conference report will go to a vote in the U.S. Senate and if passed will head to the President’s desk for signature.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Haaland secured language from her bills in the NDAA during the committee markup in July. Those provisions include her “Rent the Camo” pilot program and the Selected Reserve Education Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Enhancement Act. Additionally, Haaland increased funding to military family housing protections and secured the Kirtland Air Force Base a spot on the shortlist for Space Force research and development.

Haaland served on the NDAA Conference Committee in her role as the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources. She negotiated with her colleagues across the aisle and with the Senate to develop an NDAA that protects the planet and recognizes the threat of climate change to our national security. 

“The time and effort put into this bill have ensured that our country supports military families, addresses climate change threats, and sustains and creates New Mexico jobs. It’s not perfect, but it certainly moves the needle on many priorities that will ensure women have more opportunities to achieve higher ranks through my Rent the Camo provisions, climate resilience and solar development at our military bases, and giving our service members the education opportunities they were promised,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

A breakdown of Haaland’s priorities included in the 2021 NDAA is below:

 Supporting Jobs & Missions At New Mexico’s Military Installations & National Labs

  • $50 million for Defense Community Infrastructure Program that defense communities like Albuquerque that host Military installations like Kirtland AFB can use to help improve schools, daycares, roads, and energy upgrades and other community infrastructure projects. 
  • $46.6 million for a military construction project to update an administrative building at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico 
  • $4.5 million for Holloman High Speed Test Track 
  • $4.8 million for Sandia National Labs Facility Upgrade
  • $120 million for LANL Facility Upgrade 
  • $5 million to expand the Combined Research and Development Agreement solar-pv microgrid pilot project at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB)

Creating New Jobs by Making New Mexico the Home of Future Space Industry 

  • $9 million to increase funding for the Small Satellite Mission Operations Center to sustain space innovation to drive developing new technologies, doctrine and operational talent for our nation's critical space assets

Fighting for Equality & Opportunity in the Military

  • Rent the Camo: Access to Maternity Wear Act creates a “Rent the Camo” pilot program, fashioned after Rent the Runway, that issues maternity uniforms and maternity uniform related items to pregnant military members at no cost to the Servicemember while ensuring that uniforms are free of toxic chemicals that may harm the baby or mother
  • The Selected Reserve Education Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Enhancement Act will adjust the LRP Program so that Selected Reserve component service members can realize 100% of qualified education benefits within their six-year contract while providing a strong recruitment tool for the National Guard 
  • Paid Parental Leave benefit updates to include FAA, VA, and other civilian employees 
  • Request to enhance existing community family planning outreach and consultation provisions in Title X utilizing Kirtland AFB Honorary Commanders Program as a best practice model
  • $3 million to preserve the memorial to include managing the archive of artifacts, historic memorabilia, and documents related to servicewomen, maintaining the women veterans’ oral history program and conducting other education programs related to women in military service
  • Establishment of service pilot under the Department’s Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Education Program for students at Minority Institutions to diversify and strengthen the national security workforce
  • Directs the Secretary of Defense to develop and implement pregnancy policies that ensure Armed Forces and DOD civilian employees do not experience discrimination (including retaliation) or are not otherwise unduly affected as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition and has access to reasonable accommodations. 
  • Takes an initial, vital step to make sure federal law enforcement will be identifiable by name and agency,
  • Requires a joint report from the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs on former members of the armed forces who were discharged under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell who have applied for a discharge upgrade.

Promoting the Health of Military Service Members & Families

  • Audit of the medical conditions and association of adverse exposures due to unsafe or unhealthy housing units
  • Study to ensure military families have consistent access to appropriate and quality education resources for children with special needs

Addressing Climate Change Threats & Improving Military Resilience

  • Pilot program for expansion of microgrids reducing costs and emissions
  • Direct Energy Research Microgrids for Energy Assurance and Mission readiness Report on the impact of diesel generation with regard to the unit cost, fuel cost, load supplied per unit, start-up reliability, supply chain costs and reliability and dependence on foreign suppliers
  • Report on water resiliency at military installations, to include the degree to which the Department has assessed the resiliency, opportunities for public-private partnerships, and barriers to addressing water and sewage resiliency gaps 
  • Report to protect New Mexico’s solar development by identifying vulnerabilities that result in security gaps, predatory pricing and unfair trade practices for other countries
  • Reports on fuel consumption, distribution, etc., to reduce consumption
  • Strengthen use of electric and hybrid vehicles for official business on military installations
  • Energy Metering requirement to ensure resilient power sources