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ROGERS OPENING STATEMENT AT RULES COMMITTEE HEARING ON FY23 NDAA

Washington, D.C.  — U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Lead Republican of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a House Committee on Rules hearing regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23).  
 
Lead Republican Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
 
Chairman McGovern, Ranking Member Cole, members of the Committee, thank you for having me here today.
 
And thank you and your staff for helping us get the FY23 NDAA to the House floor.
 
I’d also like to thank Chairman Smith for his great leadership in moving this bill forward.
 
There is no better partner to have, and I am grateful for his leadership. 
 
Over the last year, we have seen the best of our soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and guardians.
 
They have performed in the toughest of environments and done so with the greatest level of skill and professionalism.
 
Without a doubt, these men and women are the greatest force for good the world has ever seen.
 
Providing the authorities and resources our warfighters need to defend our nation and defeat our adversaries is the greatest responsibility we have here in Congress.
 
We fulfill that responsibility with this NDAA.
 
We put our servicemembers first, providing a 4.6 percent pay raise and expanding benefits for military spouses and families.
 
To counteract the effects of record inflation on our servicemembers and their families, our bill –

  • Provides a 2.4 percent bonus to enlisted members;
  • Includes an additional $500 million for housing allowances to offset the cost of skyrocketing rents; and
  • An additional $750 million to reduce the price of food and other necessities at military commissaries.

 
The investments we make in this bill are focused on ensuring our warfighters are the best equipped and trained in the world.
 
We increase funding for readiness –

  • Reversing cuts in military construction and housing projects;
  • Expanding training availabilities for servicemembers; and
  • Improving the safety of the ships, aircraft, combat vehicles, and facilities where our warfighters serve.

 
To ensure our warfighters prevail on future battlefields, we make historic investments in emerging technologies, such as AI, quantum computing, hypersonic weapons, and autonomous systems.
 
Most importantly, we take a hard look at legacy systems that are maintained by Congress, but no longer needed by our warfighter.
 
Many of these systems will not help us deter future threats.
 
This bill divests over $6 billion of those systems, while investing in systems that will enable us to stay ahead of our adversaries.
 
We all know that China is rapidly modernizing its military and seeks to become the dominate nation-state by 2049.
 
China is already testing international norms, while expanding its influence and military presence in Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central America.
 
Meanwhile, Putin is killing innocent civilians in Ukraine and threatening our closest allies.
 
Congress must understand the threats we face from these two rivals and adjust our defense policy accordingly.
 
We also must continue our efforts to defeat terrorists anywhere they threaten us.
 
I believe this bill does just that. 
 
This NDAA represents a truly bipartisan bill.
 
It passed out of Committee 57 to 1, with all Republicans supporting.
 
It reflects the input of every Member of our Committee.
 
The totality of this legislation should garner overwhelming bipartisan support.
 
As you all consider which amendments to make in order, I just have one request: 
 
Focus on amendments that advance the security of our nation and the needs of our servicemembers.
 
Thank you again for the opportunity to be here.
 
I yield back.

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