News Department

House passes annual defense bill including key Gottheimer provisions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House has now passed key provisions authored by U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), including the bipartisan Darren Drake Act that Gottheimer introduced to stop ISIS-inspired and lone-wolf terrorists from using trucks and other vehicles as weapons.

It also includes investment in water infrastructure and flood management projects to benefit North Jersey from the Water Resources Development Act, among other critical measures.

These provisions passed the House as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023, which will now head to the Senate before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“The House has passed a strong, bipartisan defense bill to help equip and prepare our service members to carry out their mission and defend our country. This bipartisan bill includes key provisions I introduced to help our great nation combat terror wherever it rears its ugly head, and to support North Jersey with critical flood management, clean water, and water infrastructure investments,” Gottheimer said. “I’ll continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our active-duty military, combat terrorism and violent extremism, and strengthen America’s national security.”

Gottheimer’s provisions passed by the House as part of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 include:

The bipartisan Darren Drake Act, led by Gottheimer to stop ISIS-inspired and lone-wolf terrorists from using trucks and other vehicles as weapons. The legislation is named in memory of New Milford resident Darren Drake, a victim of the October 2017 New York City West Side Highway terrorist truck attack.

    • To help prevent terrorist truck attacks, the Darren Drake Act will require the Department of Homeland Security to develop and disseminate best practices for vehicle rental companies and dealers to report suspicious behavior to law enforcement, helping them stop potential threats in their paths. These best practices will be developed and updated in consultation with federal, state and local law enforcement, as well as industry stakeholders.

Significant Flood Management and Water Infrastructure Projects for North Jersey. Gottheimer successfully fought to claw federal dollars back to Jersey from Washington to invest in clean water and water infrastructure projects including:

    • Flood control study for Lower Saddle River.
    • Temporary Relocation Assistance Pilot Program for temporarily displaced people.
    • New York-New Jersey Watershed Basin assessment.
    • Feasibility Studies related to rising sea levels.
    • Federal investments for water and wastewater projects in Passaic, Sussex, and Essex counties – $61 million.
    • Federal investment for New York-New Jersey harbor deepening project – more than $2.4 billion.
    • Flood risk management projects for New Jersey’s Fifth District.

The bill passed also includes:

  • A 4.6% pay raise for members of the military.
  • The bipartisan, bicameral Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act — named in honor of the late son of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas — ensures key steps to protect federal judges and safeguard the personally identifiable information of federal judges and their immediate families.
  • Bars federal contractors and agencies from using computer chips produced by certain Chinese companies.
  • Enhancements to funding and administration of the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, specifically to help secure nonprofits and houses of worship against terrorism to $360 million annually.
  • Combatting terrorist groups accessing funds.
  • Provisions aimed at assessing PFAS levels in water.
  • Provisions strengthening cooperation with Israel, including countering drones and additional Iron Dome funding, sense of Congress in support of Israel.
  • Continued commitment to stand with Ukraine against Russian aggression.
  • Provisions in support of Taiwan.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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