Military spouse employment included in senate-approved defense spending

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DCS13-167-61 Newport News Shipbuilding file_585458

Mar 20, 2013 – Shipbuilders work night shift on Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) shortly after the mast is added to the island. Photo by John Whalen

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WAVY) — The U.S. Senate on Monday passed its version of a defense spending bill — which Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) says includes help for Virginia’s shipbuilders, veterans and military families.

Under the Senate-approved 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, members of the military would expect to see a 2.6 percent pay raise. 

The Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 is also included in this version. This amendment more closely connects spouses of service members with jobs and directs the Pentagon to develop a plan to allow military spouse small businesses to operate on military bases.

Kaine’s amendment has the Armed Services Committee work with the U.S. Navy to evaluate the inclusion of a block buy of aircraft carriers if they move forward on a proposal put forward by Huntington Ingalls Industries.

It includes $12.3 billion for Virginia shipbuilding priorities, including $1.6 billion for the Ford Class Carrier and $449 million for carrier refueling and overhaul.

The bill — if approved — would reject another round Base Closure and Realignment that have been proposed by the Department of Defense.

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