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PA’s Senior Senator lays groundwork for investments in several PA military installations

NDAA includes Casey provisions requiring Department of Defense transparency on PFAS clean-up

Casey slammed House Republicans for dropping legislation providing insight into national security risks posed by Chinese government access to American technology and know-how

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that several provisions he advanced have been successfully adopted and passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. These include PFAS clean-up efforts, increased federal funding for several military installations and vital defense capabilities, and safety and accountability improvements in handling dangerous pathogens which could cause pandemics. Not in the defense authorization is a Casey-led bill, left out by House Republicans, meant to provide insight into the vulnerabilities and risks posed to our national security when Chinese companies have access to our military and national security technology. Casey authored an op-ed, “When it comes to China, Speaker Johnson’s talk is cheap” criticizing House Republicans for squandering a critical opportunity to combat China’s theft of American capabilities.

“This year’s authorization reflects our Nation’s commitment to strengthening our defense capabilities, from critical upgrades to military installations to ensuring better health care for our servicemembers and their families,” said Senator Casey. “Much more still needs to be done to combat the threats posed by the Chinese government’s access to our national security sectors and I will keep pushing House Republicans to join us in holding them accountable for stealing our secrets so we can secure our economic future.”

Specifically, the 2023 NDAA includes priorities for which Senator Casey advocated in the following areas:

Pennsylvania Military Installations: Senator Casey laid the groundwork for over $190 million in federal funding across 11 projects for vital capabilities at the First City Troop Readiness Center and Naval Surface Warfare Center in Philadelphia, Letterkenny Army Depot, Tobyhanna Army Depot, Fort Indiantown Gap, Hermitage Readiness Center, Harrisburg International Airport, and Moon Township. Authorizations will enable military construction projects supporting vehicle and radar maintenance, missile production, geothermal and solar energy production, an artificial intelligence machinery control development center, an entry control facility, a machine gun range, a helipad, an anechoic chamber, and other sustainment, restoration, and modernization projects. 

PFAS: As part of his ongoing efforts to address the toxic effects of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, Senator Casey helped secure the inclusion of multiple provisions advancing a path towards remediation of toxic exposure to PFAS. For years, he has been at the forefront of efforts to address PFAS contamination in drinking water in Bucks and Montgomery Counties as a result of the use of a toxic firefighting agent at military installations. 

This year, Senator Casey helped to include a provision requiring that the Department of Defense (DoD) provide a proposed schedule and cost estimate for PFAS cleanup efforts. Additionally, he helped support a provision directing the DoD to issue regular, timely reports about the status of cleanup on PFAS contamination sites. 

Select Agent Reporting: Senator Casey ensured that a provision requiring the DoD to notify Congress within 45 days of any theft, loss, or release of a biological select agent that might cause a threat to public safety. Requiring disclosure to Congress will improve safety and accountability in the handling of dangerous pathogens which could cause the next pandemic. 

Better Health Care for Our Troops: Senator Casey helped secure a provision requiring the Department of Defense to expand its competitive care pilot program from two locations to five. This program enables competition across TRICARE health care providers, using market forces to incentivize better care for servicemembers.

Fentanyl: Senator Casey supported pushing the Intelligence Community’s (IC) prioritization of fentanyl trafficking as an intelligence priority, including the flow of precursor chemicals from China, as well as enhanced information on the Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) and Sinaloa cartel.

People’s Republic of China (PRC): the FY24 Intelligence Authorization Act tasks the IC with addressing competition with PRC head-on:

  • Require the IC to track how PRC is advancing its is economic and technological capabilities, and how these advancement pose a national security threat.
  • Authorize the IC to place detailees at the Commerce Department to share actionable intelligence on foreign adversary intent, capabilities, threats, and operations that pose a threat to the interests or security of the United States, particularly as they relate to the procurement, development, and use of dual-use and emerging technologies.
  • Assessment to identify areas where the US lacks reciprocity in the trade, financial, technological, and commercial relationship with PRC.
  • Assessment of the threats posed to US economic security by PRC-manufactured cranes used at US ports of entry.