Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib Secures Key Amendments in National Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the House voted to pass a number of amendments authored by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendments ranged from combatting discrimination in marijuana sentencing in the military justice system and providing assistance for domestic violence survivors to increasing the availability of smaller mortgages and ensuring military compliance with the federal Lead and Copper Rule.

“I am extremely proud that my colleagues joined me in supporting these critical amendments to the NDAA,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. “With these amendments, we delivered for constituents across the district, while also making it clear that we must reduce conflict and war across the globe.”

The following Tlaib amendments passed in the House:

  1. Improving Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Support for Small Dollar Mortgages Act Amendment

This amendment adds Rep. Tlaib’s legislation H.R. 1532 to the NDAA. The bill requires the FHA to study, report on, and implement policy improvements that will make small-dollar mortgages more viable and available. According to the 2019 ACS, more than half of the owner-occupied homes in Michigan’s 13th District are valued at less than $100,000.

  1. Veterans Credit Amendment

Strengthens consumer protections for servicemembers with regards to medical debt collection and credit reporting, including prohibiting the collection of medical debt for two years and prohibiting any medical debt from a medically necessary procedure from ever appearing on a credit report.

  1. Lead and Copper Rule Amendment

Directs DoD to issue a report to Congress on compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule in military installations, military housing, and privatized military housing to identify facilities where servicemembers lack access to clean water. Following this report, compliance with Lead and Copper Rule will be reported annually in the Defense Environmental Programs annual report to Congress.

  1. Military Housing Feedback Tool Amendment

Requires that the new electronic Military Housing Feedback Tool for servicemembers living in DoD housing have an additional functionality that includes resources to help tenants identify potentially serious safety hazards – such as lead paint and pipes, asbestos, toxic mold, and non-functioning fire and carbon monoxide detection equipment – and a functionality to report these potential issues.

  1. Protecting Domestic Violence Survivors Amendment

Adds additional sections to the report required after the competition of a pilot program designed to assist victims of domestic violence in the military to ensure that participants in the program can provide their feedback and that their advice is taken into account, and provide the DoD officials running the pilot program with a specific opportunity to recommend new ideas and other potential ways that they come across that could be pursued to further safeguard domestic violence survivors.

  1. Screening for Lead Exposure Amendment

Expands a new DoD program to screen individuals with health conditions resulting from unsafe housing units to include screening for lead exposure.

  1. Inclusive Childcare Amendment

Adds additional directions to a study and report on confronting childcare challenges on military installations that emphasizes the importance of addressing unique challenges that shift based on population from base to base, such as the need for English as a second language programs for bases with significant populations of non-English speaking children.

  1. Combatting Discrimination in Marijuana Sentencing Amendment

Emphasizes that the Military Justice Review Panel must take into account the historically discriminatory manner in which marijuana laws have been enforced and the ongoing risk of discrimination in conducting their review of sentencing recommendations for marijuana offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The amended NDAA will be considered by the full House for a vote on Thursday evening.

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