Today, Congressman Doug LaMalfa voted in favor of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
The FY23 NDAA authorizes $858 billion for national defense spending, an increase of $45 billion over President Biden’s request to Congress. The bill overturns Biden’s proposed cuts to arms procurement, missile defense and military construction. This bill now awaits final passage in the Senate before it will be sent to the President’s desk for signature.
“Guaranteeing the strength and readiness of the United States Armed Forces is one Congress’s primary responsibilities,” LaMalfa said. “The world is less stable today than it has been in years. America must be ready to confront any challenge from China, Russia or rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. Republicans were able to remove the military COVID-19 vaccine mandate and provide a path back to military service for those who were maliciously forced out. This bill focuses on America’s actual defense needs rather than the Democrats’ woke ideology that prioritized forcing women into the draft, injecting race issues into the services and an attempted partisan election takeover.”
Main highlights of the legislation include:
- Overturns the COVID-19 vaccination mandate on all active and reserve servicemembers, clarifies that all servicemembers separated for their refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccines are now eligible for reinstatement, and provides full veteran benefits to servicemembers separated for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Increases servicemember salaries and housing allowances, as well as pay bonuses to combat rising costs due to inflation.
- Fully funds the National Guard’s operation and maintenance account to support a border deployment.
- Removed Democrats attempt to force women to register for the draft.
- Reverses President Biden’s cuts to shipbuilding, authorizes the construction of 11 new battle force ships, and allocates $1.03 billion to expand shipyard industrial bases.
- Fully funds the Guam Defense System to protect Pacific military assets and Americans from Chinese and North Korean missile threats.
- Authorizes more than $11 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, ensuring full funding of training and operations, construction of defense infrastructure, and timely deployment of weapons systems and logistics throughout the Indo-Pacific to deter Chinese aggression.
- Authorizes funding for the Air Force to purchase 33 new F-35 Joint Strike fighter planes.