Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Lead Republican of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Lead Republican Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:
I rise in strong support of H.R. 7900, the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act.
H.R. 7900 represents a truly bipartisan bill.
I want to thank Chairman Smith for his tremendous leadership and cooperation in helping to fashion it.
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 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;
- It 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 focus on modernization.
That means divesting of less capable, legacy systems, and investing in emerging technologies that will help us stay ahead of our adversaries.
This bill saves the taxpayer over $6 billion by divesting hundreds of older and less capable ships, aircraft, and other legacy systems.
We use those savings and more to invest in emerging technologies, such as AI, quantum computing, hypersonic weapons, and autonomous systems.
These investments are so critical because China and Russia are rapidly modernizing their militaries.
China is outpacing us with advancements in emerging technologies and weapon systems.
And we know China isn’t building these capabilities purely for defense.
In recent years, we’ve seen China use its military to push out its borders, threaten our allies, and gain footholds on new continents.
H.R. 7900 is laser focused on preparing our military to prevail in conflict with China.
It makes critical investments in new systems capable of surviving in contested environments.
It includes provisions that will further harden our supply chain and industrial base against infiltration from China.
And it reaffirms our support to allies in the region, especially Taiwan.
It also strengthens our European alliance as these democracies face grave threats from the unhinged crackpot currently leading Russia.
Threats from adversaries like China and Russia are not the only ones we face.
Terrorists continue their plots to destroy our way of life.
We must continue to take the fight to them.
Anywhere and anytime they threaten us.
With strong investments in new capabilities and readiness, this bill enables our warfighters to do just that.
This bill passed out of Committee 57 to 1, with all Republicans supporting.
It is the definition of a bipartisan bill.
It will enhance Congressional oversight of DoD.
It will improve the quality of life for our servicemembers and their families
And it will ensure our military is properly resourced and equipped to defend our nation and our allies.
I urge all Members to support the bill.
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