Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Andy Barr voted for the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a critical piece of legislation that includes a 5.2% increase in servicemember pay, addresses the needs of military families, and equips our military to counter the growing threats from Communist China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The FY24 NDAA also emphasizes oversight and tackles waste, fraud, and abuse to save taxpayers billions of dollars.
The FY24 NDAA reflects the commitment of House Republicans to ensure a safe and secure nation. It includes several provisions to counter the aggression of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), safeguard our homeland, support our Pacific allies. Furthermore, it focuses on budget savings, reforms, and demands accountability from the Biden administration.
Deterrence is a key aspect of the FY24 NDAA, as it extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to enhance the U.S. defense posture in the Indo-Pacific region. The initiative is funded at $9.7 billion, an increase of $600 million over Biden's budget request. Additionally, the FY24 NDAA rejects the Biden administration’s attempts to reduce the size of the Navy and strengthens U.S. forces to ensure superiority in any potential conflict with the CCP. It also provides funding for military construction projects, logistics capabilities, and essential munitions critical to countering CCP aggression.
The FY24 NDAA reaffirms the U.S. commitment to the defense of Taiwan, authorizes U.S. Special Operations Forces to train Taiwan and other partner nations, and strengthens military cybersecurity cooperation with Taiwan. It provides funding for military exercises in the Pacific, enhances local acquisition agreements with Pacific Island nations, and supports the expansion of security cooperation workforce development. Additionally, it increases funding for military information operations assistance, countering Chinese influence, and requires assessments of CCP cooperation with Iran and CCP presence in the Caribbean and South America.
With a strong focus on eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse, the FY24 NDAA authorizes $886.3 billion for national defense discretionary programs, an increase of $28 billion over the FY23 enacted level. It saves taxpayers $40 billion or 5% of current defense spending levels through cuts to inefficient defense programs, obsolete weapons systems, and redundant Pentagon bureaucracy. The NDAA penalizes DoD for cost overruns, enhances oversight, and establishes measures to curtail wasteful spending, including a pilot program to reimburse costs incurred from denied contract award protests.
This authorization bill shows our committment to ending "wokeness" in the military, ensuring its focus remains on national defense. The FY24 NDAA includes provisions to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from military training and advisory committees, repeal the unnecessary Chief Diversity Officer position, and limit funding for politically biased programs. It prohibits funds for drag shows, Drag Queen Story Hours, and similar events, and protects parents' rights by including a Parents Bill of Rights to ensure their involvement in curriculum review and consent for medical exams or screenings.
The FY24 NDAA also addresses important issues related to servicemembers and their families. It provides assistance to the 8,000 servicemembers discharged for declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine, allowing them a path back to service while protecting their benefits. The legislation supports a 5.2% increase in servicemember basic pay, expands housing benefits, enhances support for military spouses, improves childcare and schools, and strengthens healthcare services, including mental health support.
“I am proud to support the FY24 NDAA, a comprehensive and robust legislation that prioritizes the safety of our nation, supports our servicemembers, and ensures a strong and well-equipped military”, said Congressman Andy Barr. “By passing this bill, House Republicans reaffirm their commitment to delivering on the Commitment to America - a nation that remains safe and secure. I was proud to secure several amendments in the House-passed bill that support the Blue Grass Army Depot and recognizes the service of our veterans.”
Congressman Barr secured several provisions included in the NDAA:
- Blue Grass Army Depot: This provision expresses a sense of Congress regarding the Feasibility Study for the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Madison County, Kentucky. The Department of Defense was late on a Feasibility Study and this legislation requires the study to be completed no later than September 1, 2023 and requires the DOD and Army work with Congress and the local community to build upon the findings of the study.
- Medals for Servicemembers in Afghanistan: This legislation awards the Afghanistan campaign medal, combat action ribbon, and humanitarian service medal to all members of the Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan during Operation Allies Refuge (July 14, 2021-August 30, 2021). This provision ensures all servicemembers serving in Afghanistan during the chaotic withdrawal are recognized for their service, even if below the current 30 day service requirement. Congressman Barr introduced this amendment after meeting with constituent servicemembers who served in Afghanistan during the withdrawal.
- Electric Vehicle Supply Chain: This legislation Directs the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the relevant federal agencies, to conduct a study on the impacts to United States national security from Chinese influence in the electric vehicle supply chain.
- Pacific Islands Maritime of Excellence: This provision directs the Department of Defense, in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard and the Secretary of State, to conduct a feasibility study on the establishment of an Indo-Pacific Maritime Governance Center of Excellence.