Kiggans, HASC Republicans Deliver Transformational Defense Bill to House Floor

Jun 22, 2023
Armed Forces
Press

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement after the conclusion of the House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the fiscal year 2024 (FY24) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

“I came to Congress to restore strength in our military; this legislation is a major step in reaching that goal,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “I’m proud that our committee has put forth a bipartisan bill that will take great steps to counter the rising China threat, implement much needed action to address quality of life issues for our service members, institute commonsense budget reforms, and result in increased oversight and accountability effort to ensure that every dollar Congress spends on our military is going toward helping our men and women in uniform accomplish their mission.” 

“While this bill is an important step in the right direction, as someone who served our country in uniform, I know that we must take further action to fulfill our fundamental obligation to address America’s most pressing national security challenges,” continued Congresswoman Jen Kiggans. “I will continue to be a fierce advocate for additional defense funding to ensure our military capabilities are sufficient to deter our adversaries like China and Russia, and to take care of our servicemembers and their families.”

BACKGROUND 

The FY24 NDAA, which authorizes $886.3 billion for national defense discretionary programs, takes large steps to address the complex geopolitical challenges facing our Armed Forces both abroad and at home. Listed below are some of the provisions in the bill that address these challenges: 

Countering the China Threat 

  • Funds the Pacific Deterrence Initiative – which enhances U.S. defense posture in the Indo-Pacific region – at $9.7 billion, $600 million more than the budget request. 
  • Builds more projection forces (battle force ships and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance aircraft) than requested. 
  • Rejects Administration efforts to reduce the size of the U.S. Navy. 
  • Authorizes over $360 million in INDOPACOM Commander priorities left unfunded by the Administration’s budget. 

Improving Quality of Life 

  • Supports a 5.2% servicemember basic pay increase, the largest in over 20 years. 
  • Authorizes $27 million over the budget request for new family housing. 
  • Authorizes $113 million over the budget request for the construction of new childcare facilities. 
  • Authorizes more than $240 million to reduce servicemember out-of-pocket housing costs. 

Reforming the Budget 

  • Divests over $23 billion from obsolete aircraft. 
  • Cuts $1.7 billion from weapons programs experiencing excessive cost growth. 
  • Recoups more than $425 million by eliminating redundant and inefficient Pentagon bureaucracy. 
  • The budget reforms included in the FY24 NDAA save taxpayers $39 billion. 

Increasing Department of Defense (DoD) Oversight 

  • Requires DoD to conduct and report to Congress on regular audits of United States security assistance to Ukraine, including waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption. 
  • Requires quarterly briefings on the operational status of the amphibious warship fleet. 
  • Fully funds the DoD Office of the Inspector General and grants the office direct hire authority to rapidly expand the number of auditors reviewing Ukraine security assistance. 

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