Florida Congressman Daniel Webster, R-Clermont, released the following statement on his vote to pass H.R.2670, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 or FY24 NDAA. In voting for this bill, Webster upholds his fundamental congressional responsibility as stated by the United States Constitution to, ‘provide for the common defense.’
“Today, I will vote to pass one of the most conservative and commonsense defense bills Congress has developed in years! This NDAA saves billions in taxpayer dollars while providing the Pentagon the tools and resources necessary to better counter adversaries such as China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea. In addition to increasing servicemembers pay and improving family housing and healthcare access, this bill also invests in emerging technologies and advances partnerships with allies like Taiwan and Israel.
“Under this bill, spending on inefficient defense programs, obsolete weapons systems and unnecessary Pentagon bureaucracy is cut saving more than $30 billion in taxpayer dollars. Accountability is improved by requiring the Defense Inspector General to conduct a comprehensive audit of acquisition programs and establishing a new Special Inspector General for Ukraine Security Assistance to direct and coordinate the oversight and audit of all aid provided to Ukraine by the United States. This is accomplished while increasing DoD’s investment in the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and rejecting President Biden’s efforts to reduce resources needed to counter the Chinese Communist Party.
“I’m very pleased the FY24 NDAA depoliticizes the DoD by blocking the radical woke programs that President Biden and Secretary Austin have allowed to infiltrate our military. H.R. 2670 bans Critical Race Theory from being taught in the military, blocks the promotion of a Navy drag queen, takes steps to rein in Diversity Equity and Inclusion, prohibits funding for drag shows and similar events, and prevents the military from authorizing climate change programs that would have a devastating outcome for our combat readiness.”
Highlights of H.R. 2670, passed with bipartisan support:
- Extends the Pacific Deterrence Initiative to enhance U.S. deterrence and defense posture in the Indo-Pacific region and includes funding for new technologies, munitions and force projections needed to ensure overmatch with the Chinese Community Party (CCP).
- Fully funds modernization of our nuclear triad, including establishing the nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise missile, realigns funding to support core nuclear weapons programs and requires DOD to notify Congress of any nuclear cooperation between Russia and China.
- Prohibits DoD funds from going to universities operating CCP fronts such as Confucius Institutes, from contracting with EcoHealth Alliance or any other CCP support research or contracting with any software, logistics or resources firm that is affiliated with CCP or has materials from China.
- Requires DoD to identify and mitigate attempts by CCP-backed entities to purchase land near military.
- Fully funds military exercises with allies and partners in the Pacific, including Taiwan and Central Command’s exercises and security cooperation with Israel.
- Fully funds the National Guard’s operations to support a border employment, provides $25million more than President Biden requested for Guard to improve drug interdiction and support local law enforcement efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking.
- Authorizes a 5.2% pay increase for our troops, including a bonus for junior enlisted members to help counteract efforts of President Biden’s record high inflation.
- Requires DoD to reinstate servicemembers discharged solely for declining to take the COVID-19 vaccine and protects their separation from being used against them in future promotions.
- Prevents censorship by defunding the Department of Defense (DOD) “Countering Extremism Working Group” and prohibiting the authorization of funds to go to organizations that have been documented to censor conservatives.
- Eliminates the position of “Chief Diversity Officer” in the DoD and implements limitations on positions that involve Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI)