Wicker Statement on National Defense Authorization Act Conference Proceedings

November 16, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the below statement following the official proceeding of conference action on the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I appreciate my colleagues for recognizing the need to ensure that this year’s national defense legislation receives a strong conference in accordance with precedent and the good working order of Congress,” Wicker said. “Senate Republicans worked hard to include several key provisions in this year’s bill related to improving military readiness, eliminating toxic social policies, and accelerating procurement of the ships, aircraft, and munitions we need to deter China and other adversaries in the years ahead. It would be a disservice to these efforts to dispense with the traditional conference process.

“I look forward to working with Chairman Reed, Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Smith and the rest of our conferees to deliver a strong final product to the President’s desk. During the most dangerous national security moment since World War II, we cannot afford anything less.

During the floor debate of the Senate’s defense legislation, more than 900 amendments were considered and 120 amendments were adopted – the most amendments adopted to the Senate NDAA in years. The bill passed the full Senate 86-11. Prior to floor debate, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 24-1 to advance the bill from markup, with 445 amendments considered and 286 adopted.

The 63rd annual NDAA supports a total of $886 billion in fiscal year 2024 funding for national defense. Within this topline, the legislation authorizes $845 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $32 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).

NDAA highlights include:

  • Provides for a 5.2 percent pay raise for both military servicemembers and the DOD civilian workforce, and helps lower housing, healthcare, and childcare costs for military families.
  • Supports requested funding for the procurement of naval vessels, combat aircraft, armored vehicles, weapon systems, and munitions.
  • Authorizes the full budget request for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) and the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI).
  • Establishes the Indo-Pacific Campaigning Initiative to facilitate increased U.S. military exercises, freedom of navigation operations, and partner engagements in the region.
  • Establishes a comprehensive training, advising, and institutional capacity-building program for the military forces of Taiwan.
  • Supports the development of the security partnership among Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States, known as AUKUS.
  • Fully funds and extends the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) through fiscal year 2027.
  • Streamlines the acquisition of defense stocks related to Ukraine and authorizes additional munitions for multiyear procurement contracts.
  • Authorizes improvements to the quality and oversight of military enlisted barracks, including the replacement of substandard barracks.
  • Authorizes increased funding for the military services' recruiting and advertising activities.
  • Authorizes significant funding for game-changing technologies like microelectronics, hypersonic weapons, and unmanned aircraft systems.
  • Enhances deterrence by recapitalizing and modernizing the U.S. nuclear triad; ensuring the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, delivery systems, and infrastructure; increasing capacity in theater and homeland missile defense; and strengthening nonproliferation programs.
  • Provides predictability and stability for the nation’s supply chain and industrial base workforce to move forward with critical programs and acquisitions.

The full text, report, and executive summary of the SASC-passed NDAA can be viewed here.