House Approves Multiple Cicilline Proposals in Large Defense Bill

Jul 12, 2019

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 this afternoon. The bill, which sets defense spending levels for the Department of Defense next year, included several items that Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), a member of House Leadership, played a key role in crafting.


"This bill gives our men and women in uniform the tools they need to confront the security challenges presented in the 21st century, a pay raise for our troops, as well as making critical investments that will bolster Rhode Island's defense sector and continue to support thousands of good-paying jobs," Cicilline said. “I’m proud the House adopted my proposals to strengthen protections for servicemembers, support manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island, and help our allies maintain stability abroad. This is a strong and necessary piece of legislation, and I'm pleased we passed it today."


Cicilline led the effort to include three amendments to help servicemembers who have been wronged by corporations, promote Rhode Island’s manufacturing sector, and strengthen U.S. national security interests in the National Defense Authorization Act. These include amendments to:


  • Protect servicemembers from forced arbitration, a practice that allows companies to settle disputes by choosing the arbiter and venue while denying servicemembers any right to appeal;
  • Require a report on the increased automation of the Defense manufacturing industry, which will provide information critical to protecting jobs in Rhode Island’s manufacturing sector;
  • And finally end the U.S. arms embargo in Cyprus, which currently forces one of our allies to depend on other countries, including Russia, for defense-related materials.


In addition to the inclusion of these proposals, the National Defense Authorization Act also included a number of other important Democratic priorities that advance American values, including:


  • Authorizing funding for a 3.1 percent pay raise for servicemembers;
  • The addition of numerous provisions to take care of military families, including by improving military housing, and cleaning up contaminated drinking water at military bases;
  • Prohibiting any funding in the bill to be used for the construction of a wall, barrier, or fence along the southern border;
  • Requiring the Department of Defense to take steps to address climate change;
  • And taking steps to accelerate the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility;


The bill passed the House today and now moves to the U.S. Senate where it awaits further consideration.