(WASHINGTON, DC)– Congressman Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) voted yesterday to pass the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
“I am pleased that the House passed an NDAA that includes some important provisions dialing back dangerous defense cuts, bolsters our capabilities, increases pay for our troops, and protects the American people from our adversaries. I look forward to working with my colleagues to further refine this bill as it moves through the Senate and the conference committee,” said DesJarlais.
The Tennessee Congressman noted highlights of the bill included:
- Prohibition on the enforcement of the COVID vaccine mandate on defense contractors
- Reverses dovish Biden defense policies by preserving Trump-era nuclear capabilities necessary to counter Chinese and Russian aggression
- $38 million for the construction of new test infrastructure at AEDC
- $23.8 million for KC-135 Maintenance Shops at Tyson McGhee for the TN Air National Guard
- $75 million for hypersonic capabilities research projects between the University of Tennessee Space Institute and partners at Lockheed Martin, Fort Campbell, Bell Flight, Oak Ridge National Laboratories
- Extension of construction authorities that will allow for more rapid, cost-effective infrastructure modernization at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and AEDC
- 4.6% pay increase for servicemembers
- 2.4% pay bonus for enlisted personnel
- Funding to keep pace with Chinese military modernization and expansion
- Brings Department of Defense funding up to levels necessary to counteract record-high inflation
- Reverses Biden Administration cuts to procurement of new aircraft, combat vehicles, autonomous systems, missiles, and ammunition
“The bill requests a vital $37 billion more than President Biden is willing to allocate. Our adversaries are watching us closely and we cannot lead from behind militarily as evidenced by the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, unchecked Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and Chinese expansion in the Indo-Pacific region. This budget request proves that not only Republicans, but also many concerned Democrats, recognize these issues and are willing to take the necessary steps to protect and defend our citizens, even when the White House is not,” Rep. DesJarlais said.
The Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act passed the House last night and now moves on to a vote in the U.S. Senate before members from both chambers come together in a conference committee to create a final version of the bill.