Gluesenkamp Perez Urges House Armed Services Committee to Include Bipartisan Veterans Priorities in NDAA

Apr 12, 2024
Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez testifies in support of veterans priorities in the FY25 National Defense Authorization Act.

Yesterday, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee to underscore bipartisan FY25 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) priorities for Southwest Washington service members and veterans.

In her testimony, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez advocated for inclusion of her bipartisan PARA-EMT Act in the FY25 NDAA. The legislation will address EMS staffing shortages by making it easier for experienced veterans to transition from medics to becoming certified paramedics and EMTs.

The Congresswoman also highlighted the need to support the military’s right to repair its own equipment, as well as the importance of appropriately compensating service members for their sacrifice.

Video of Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez’s testimony can be found here.

The National Defense Authorization Act is an annual bill required for the authorization of expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The following are Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez’s full remarks:

“I am here to advocate for the inclusion of certain provisions of my bipartisan bill, the PARA-EMT Act, which I introduced with Congressman Finstad in (the) FY25 National Defense Authorization Act.

Our service members who completed military emergency medical technical training while serving have an incredible skillset that should be celebrated and utilized as they transition to (civilian life).

We can better serve both those transitioning service members as well as our rural communities by making it easier for experienced veterans to transition from medics to becoming certified civilian paramedics and EMTs. 

This provision would create a program for states to facilitate and expedite the transition of medics coming out of the military to meet certification, licensure, and other requirements applicable to becoming an EMT or a paramedic.

This will support the recruitment of EMS staff in rural areas like mine (and) cut red tape for veterans looking to build on their service to their country by becoming a certified EMT or paramedic.

I appreciate Representative Finstad’s partnership to support rural first responders and strengthen this line of defense for our communities.

I also want to touch on a few other priorities that are important to my district and constituents. 

First, I want to say, I’m grateful for my repair amendment (being) adopted on the Floor in last year’s House NDAA, and I’d like to reiterate the importance of the Armed Forces being able to fix (their) own equipment. This continues to be critical for our military readiness and equipment confidence.

When military maintenance technicians aren’t able to fix equipment in the field, whether it’s an engine or a generator, because of restrictive contracting terms, it harms our military readiness and it is a gut punch to technicians who came here to fix things, not to be on a waitlist on a phone call with a representative from a manufacturer.

Lastly, I want to note that I was glad to see last year’s final NDAA include the historically-high 5.2-percent pay raise for service members. I hope this year proves no different and we again show our service members that their selflessness and service is valued and deserves appropriate compensation.

I thank you again for the opportunity to testify, and I yield back.”

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