Sinema Secures Arizona Priorities in Annual Defense Bill

Dec 11, 2019

Senator’s Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act and funding for Arizona military installations included in NDAA

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema secured her bipartisan Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act and multiple Arizona military priorities in the House-passed annual defense bill. The Senate will vote on the legislation next week. 
“Our servicemembers put their lives on the line to keep Arizona safe and secure, and I am committed to providing them the support and resources they need. Our Network of Support Act equips loved ones to strengthen support for servicemembers in times of need,” said Sinema.
Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act:

  • Legislation named after Arizona Army veteran Sergeant Daniel Somers who served two tours in Iraq and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD upon returning home. He lost his life to suicide in 2013.
  • Over the past six years, Sinema has worked with Daniel’s parents, Howard and Jean Somers, to advance legislation to help servicemembers receive the care they’ve earned. Together, they introduced the Network of Support Act.
  • The bill requires the Defense Department and the Red Cross to collect from new servicemembers the names of loved ones they consider to be their networks of support. In return, the Department of Defense and Red Cross will provide information about benefits and services available to military members.
  • By directly engaging families and loved ones, the Department can prepare and equip military friends and families to better understand military life, notice when a servicemember struggles, and ensure they have access to the necessary tools to help a servicemember get assistance or care.

Encouraging Growth at Camp Navajo:

  • Sinema secured language encouraging the Army to expand public-private partnerships that will offer additional revenue to Camp Navajo, the Arizona National Guard, and the surrounding community.

Funding for Marine Corps Air Station Yuma:

  • Sinema secured $90.1 million in funding for the renovation of MCAS Yuma’s Hangar 95.
  • Sinema also secured $99.6 million in funding for the critical replacement of junior servicemembers’ barracks.

Funding for Luke Air Force Base’s F-35 Program

  • Sinema helped secure $9.8 billion for 90 F-35 aircraft, an increase of over 12 aircraft from the President’s request.

Funding for Davis Monthan Air Force Base’s A-10 Program

  • Sinema helped secure $132 million for the A-10 based at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.

Inclusion of Sinema-shaped Military Special Victims Protection Act

  • Legislation cosponsored and shaped by Sinema that codifies many of the military’s best practices for referring military sexual assault to courts martial, expands eligibility for Special Victim Counsel services to victims of certain domestic violence offences, and provides for the correction of military records and discharges for former military members who were survivors of military sexual trauma or intimate partner violence.

Inclusion of Sinema-backed Paid Leave for Federal Employees

  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all federal civilian employees.

Inclusion of Sinema-backed repeal of the Widow’s Tax

  • Three year phase out of the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset, commonly called the Widow’s Tax, bringing an end to the shortchanging of Gold Star families.