Carper Highlights Key Priorities in Senate-Passed Annual Defense Bill

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) today applauded Senate passage of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—legislation that supports nearly $858 billion for our nation’s armed services and national defense in Fiscal Year 2023. The package includes several critical pieces of legislation that Carper helped to secure, and also includes funding to support a 4.6 percent pay raise for military servicemembers.

“Each year Congress comes together in a bipartisan way to pass an annual defense bill to ensure that our brave men and women in uniform have the training and resources they need to do their jobs, and ensure our nation has the proper means to protect our homeland,” said Carper. “This year’s package also includes several pieces of legislation that I was pleased to champion—including legislation to fund water infrastructure projects in all 50 states, and for the first time ever, my legislation to expand health benefits for our nation’s federal firefighters. I’m glad that this year we could continue the practice of passing NDAA with support from both Democrats and Republicans, and I look forward to it becoming law soon.” 

This year’s annual defense package includes several pieces of legislation secured by Carper:

  • The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)
    • The Water Resources Development Act is biennial legislation that authorizes flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The final version comes after months of negotiations to reconcile Senate- and House-passed versions of the legislation.
  • The Federal Firefighters Fairness Act of 2022
    • The Federal Firefighter Fairness Act will help ensure thousands of federal firefighters, including those serving at Dover Air Force Base, receive the financial support they deserve for diseases contracted in the line of duty. The legislation classifies a range of firefighting-linked illnesses, like lung diseases and certain cancers, contracted by federal firefighters as “job-related” and makes them automatically eligible for federal workers’ compensation and disability retirement benefits.
  • The Periodically Listing Updates to Management Act of 2022 (PLUM Act 2022)
    • Currently, the federal government publishes a comprehensive list of positions appointed by the President once every four years called the “Plum Book.” The PLUM Act of 2022 will modernize the Plum Book by requiring the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to establish and maintain a current, publicly available directory of senior government leaders online. This good governance bill will increase transparency and help make the federal government more accessible and accountable to the American people.