WASHINGTON, D.C., December 13, 2023 – U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.) today released the following statement on her vote to support final passage of the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):
“Today, I voted to support the Fiscal Year 2024 NDAA, which contains major wins for Alabama, for our national defense, and for conservatives. This legislation includes a 5.2 percent pay raise for our troops, forces the Biden Administration to resume construction of the wall at our southern border, and ensures that all future military promotions are solely based on an individual’s performance and merit.
We also know that Communist China is our greatest geopolitical and national security threat, and everything the Chinese Communist Party does is as our adversary. This NDAA continues to modernize our military capabilities and assets, so that our warfighters remain the best equipped, trained, and ready in the world. This bill provides our military with the resources it needs to keep pace with China when it comes to addressing the threats in the Pacific and bolsters deterrence across the globe, including to aggressors such as Iran. This legislation provides critical missile defense and military training to the Israelis as they defend themselves from barbaric Hamas terrorists in the wake of October 7.
Thanks to the hard work of our Alabama delegation, this bill also completely freezes any funding that would be used to build or renovate a Space Command headquarters in Colorado until a full audit of the Biden Administration’s politically-motivated, reckless basing decision is complete and publicized. In addition, this NDAA authorizes more than $316 million for improvements to Alabama’s military bases and National Guard facilities. This is imperative to our state’s ability to continue strengthening our national defense long into the future, and it supports tens of thousands of good-paying jobs in communities across Alabama.
I’m also especially proud to have included a provision in the NDAA that represents a positive step forward as we continue to work to better support the wellbeing of our servicemembers and their families. This provision is aimed at ensuring our military families have expanded access and greater flexibility when it comes to mental health care, and I’ll continue to advance this important mission.
I thank my colleagues on both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, particularly Chairman Mike Rogers, for their work to ensure that Congress was able to pass this critical legislation to support our military here at home and around the world.”
Passed annually by Congress since 1961, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes critical functions such as funding for the military, outlining national security priorities, and setting targets for modernizing defense technologies and munitions. The bill includes 5.2% pay raise for the more than 37,000 active-duty service members in Alabama.
It authorizes $316.6 million in Military Construction Projects, including:
- $68M for a Ground Test Facility on Redstone Arsenal
- $65M for Military Family Housing at Maxwell Air Force Base
- $57M for a new Army Reserve Center in Birmingham
- $41.2M for new Barracks at Ft. Novosel
Senator Britt secured passage of a key amendment in the legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to submit a report to Congress on the feasibility of allowing American servicemembers and their dependents to keep previously retained mental healthcare via telehealth services while transferring between postings.
The bill contains the FINISH IT Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Britt that would force the Biden Administration’s Department of Defense (DoD) to allow millions of dollars of unused border wall panels already owned by the U.S. government to be used to extend the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border that was started under the Trump Administration.
The bill also contains the MERIT Act, legislation co-sponsored by Senator Britt that will ensure that all military promotions are made on the basis of merit and performance rather than alternative factors.