On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) applauded the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021, which includes several provisions important for Colorado.
“I’m proud the NDAA includes several of my provisions prioritizing the health and environmental safety of Coloradans, specifically firefighters and former nuclear weapons workers,” said Perlmutter. “This bill strengthens our national security and provides critical support for our troops and military families.”
Notably, the bill permanently extends the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) Office of the Ombudsman, which expired in October 2020. The Ombudsman’s office helps former nuclear weapons workers navigate the complex claims process under EEOICPA. This is a continuation of years-long work by Perlmutter to ensure former nuclear weapons workers – including those who worked at the Rocky Flats facility – receive the compensation and care they need and deserve as they deal with the health consequences and other side effects related to their service to our country.
Perlmutter also helped secure a study to better understand the prevalence and concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the personal protective equipment worn by firefighters as well as firefighters’ risk of exposure to these harmful chemicals. The provision will also fund additional research to improve the safety of firefighting equipment for our firefighters. In July, Perlmutter introduced the provision as standalone legislation. PFAS chemicals are commonly used on firefighting gear to make them more water- and oil-resistant but research has shown PFAS exposure can lead to an increased risk of cancer, already the leading cause of death among firefighters according to the International Association of Fire Fighters.
“I’m proud the NDAA includes several of my provisions prioritizing the health and environmental safety of Coloradans, specifically firefighters and former nuclear weapons workers. This bill strengthens our national security and provides critical support for our troops and military families.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter
In total, the bipartisan NDAA bill authorizes national defense spending for FY 2021 and includes several key provisions to care for our troops and military families to strengthen our national security. This includes a 3% pay raise for our men and women in uniform and strong provisions to tackle climate change throughout the Department of Defense. Other notable provisions include strengthening the Department of Defense’s ability to respond to potential COVID-19 resurgence and other infectious diseases in the future, preventing the misuse of funding for President Trump’s border wall, extending paid parental leave to approximately 100,000 federal civilians, providing additional benefits for tens of thousands of Vietnam-era Veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and removing all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America.
Several other provisions included in the NDAA that Perlmutter supported through his work on the Financial Services Committee to improve our national security include:
- H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act, which will end anonymous shell companies which have been used by criminals to obscure the ownership of companies used for illicit purposes like money laundering or tax evasion.
- H.R. 2514, the COUNTER Act, which will improve the detection and prevention of money laundering and other financial crimes around the globe by modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act and providing financial institutions with new tools to combat illicit finance.
- H.R. 1414, the FinCEN Improvement Act, which will strengthen the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by expanding information sharing with tribal authorities, prioritizing protection against all types of terrorism, and ensuring a focus on emerging methods of terrorism and illicit finance, including cryptocurrencies.
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