Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2670, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024. The bill passed by a vote of 219-210 in a hotly contested partisan vote.
The legislation authorizes funding for the United States’ common defense, military personnel and retirees, including provisions that support the missions at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City and Fort Sill in Lawton.
“The NDAA is critical for our nation’s military to meet its mission and the bill passed out of the House today is strong and significant in ensuring our warfighters are manned, equipped and trained for the multitude of threats we face,” said Cole. “This bill puts a halt to President Joe Biden’s attempt to return our military to that of the disastrous Obama-era by authorizing $863.3 billion in defense, a 28 percent increase from the fiscal year 2023 NDAA.”
“While an increase from President Biden’s original request is achieved, this bill also would save taxpayers $40 billion without compromising our national security,” said Cole. “This bill goes above and beyond by rejecting ideological indoctrination initiatives, requiring the Pentagon to remain focused on readiness and preparedness. It would also deliver the largest pay raise for our service members in 20 years, provide for measures to counter aggression from the Chinese Communist Party and other threats, increase oversight of military aid and invest in military families.”
“The duty of Congress to provide for our common defense is not only constitutionally obligated, but an imperative function of this body and that is echoed in this legislation,” added Cole.
The House NDAA would authorize $874.2 billion in national defense spending, including $841.5 billion for the Defense Department and $32.2 billion for national security programs within the Energy Department. It also provides a 5.2 percent pay increase for military service members as well as measures addressing China and Russia.
The bill moves to the Senate where the NDAA will be heard on the floor during the week of July 17, 2023.