McCarthy: More Local Priorities Included in House-Passed Defense Bill
Today, the Conference Report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed the House with Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s support. This bill contains several local priorities secured by McCarthy that will help to directly strengthen Edwards Air Force Base and Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake.
“The passage of the NDAA is a win for our community and our national security as a whole,” said McCarthy. “This bill empowers NAWS China Lake’s installation commander to make strategic investments that will help improve key infrastructure related to water security and energy benefiting the installation. Additionally, both China Lake and Edwards Air Force Base will benefit from the extension of direct-hire authority to Fiscal Year 2025. This allows our base commanders to remain competitive when hiring key personnel. By streamlining the federal hiring processes, our installations’ leadership will be able to recruit top talent to help carry out their respective missions and everyday base operations.
“These measures will help strengthen our military and enable them to make the best choices possible regarding our nation’s safety, and I urge President Trump to swiftly sign NDAA in to law.”
- Last year, Rep. McCarthy and Rep. Paul Cook (CA-08) enacted a provision that allows 50% of the funds generated from geothermal resources on a military base to remain at that base for infrastructure improvements rather than going to Washington to be reallocated.
- This provision means that NAWS China Lake retains 50% of the funds generated from electricity sales at the Coso Geothermal Facility on the base. NAWS China Lake can use these funds for installation-related energy or water security initiatives.
- As a result of this provision, $5.644 million has been generated over Fiscal Year 2019 and will be reinvested to benefit NAWS China Lake in Fiscal Year 2020.
- This year, McCarthy and Cook included a provision that would modify this law. Section 318 empowers the commander of the military installation where the geothermal resource is available to have decision-making authority on how to spend any proceeds consistent with the provision. This means that the installation commander at China Lake will now have the ability to allocate a portion of funds from geothermal power generation directly to infrastructure projects on China Lake related to water security and energy issues.
- Section 1107 extends direct hire authority through Fiscal Year 2025 for Major Range and Test Facilities Base, which includes Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake.