(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the statement below following her vote in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“I’m glad that Congress reached bipartisan agreement on legislation to help ensure our servicemembers have the resources and support they need to protect Americans here at home and abroad. As a mother, grandmother and former educator, I’m particularly pleased the bill includes new investments in building more on-base child care centers to better support military families who often face unique challenges when it comes to finding quality child care.

In addition, I have long advocated for paid family leave policies, so I’m glad to see this legislation will also guarantee federal employees twelve weeks of paid parental leave for the first time in our country’s history. Nobody should have to choose between a paycheck and welcoming a child into their home, and we need to build on this step and ensure no one in our country has to choose between earning a paycheck and caring for loved ones in need.  

“Know that as a voice in the Senate for our military and veterans I will keep working to make sure the federal government does its part to honor the enormous sacrifice of our military families and all our servicemembers.”

A longtime advocate for increased funding for and access to military childcare programs, Senator Murray fought to include a new, dedicated funding stream of $121 million for military child care construction. In 2017, Senator Murray introduced legislation to dramatically expand access to quality, affordable child care, the Child Care for Working Families Act, and has secured millions in funding for child care programs, including the Child Care Development Block Grant and the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program.