WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) today voted in favor of the bipartisan Conference Report to Accompany S. 1790 – the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) containing a number of Kentucky priorities and provisions authored by the Congressman. The annual defense policy bill that sets policies for the military and authorizes funding passed the House 377-48.

“As a conferee on the FY2020 NDAA Conference Committee, I was proud to secure two pieces of legislation I previously introduced this Congress into the final version of the bill – the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions and Enforcement Act and the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act,” said Congressman Barr “My North Korea sanctions provisions – titled in honor of the late Otto Warmbier, who was unjustly imprisoned and later died as a result of his mistreatment by the Kim regime – imposes the toughest financial sanctions ever directed at North Korea in order to cut off Pyongyang’s ability to finance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Additionally, my Nord Stream 2 provision imposes sanctions on persons involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 or TurkStream natural gas pipeline projects which are being supported by Russia to spread its malign influence into Europe and undermine the energy security of our NATO allies.”

In addition to international sanctions on America’s adversaries, the FY2020 NDAA included a number of priorities important for Kentucky. Congressman Barr supported the 3.1% pay raise for servicemembers to ensure that those serving our country are able to support themselves and their families. The defense bill also included a three-year phased repeal of the Survivor Benefit Plan/Dependency and Indemnity Compensation offset, more commonly known as the military widow’s tax, removing an unfair and burdensome penalty from families that have already sacrificed so much for this country. Additionally, the conference agreement takes a momentous step in providing 12 weeks of paid parental leave to all federal civilian employees.

For the Sixth District, the NDAA provides authorizations for citizen-soldiers serving the Commonwealth and the Nation in the Army and Air National Guard at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort. The bill also allows the United States to meet its international obligations to destroy chemical weapons by authorizing continued chemical agent and munitions destruction activity that occurs at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. Supporting the partnership between the National Guard and local authorities, the NDAA authorizes funding for drug interdiction and counter-drug activities in Eastern Kentucky.

“I was proud to vote for this bipartisan agreement that not only cracks down on the malign actions of adversaries like North Korea and Russia, but gives our servicemembers the largest pay raise in a decade and provides for a number of critical activities in the Sixth District that support our national defense,” said Congressman Barr.