KEY VOTE: “YES” on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670)

KEY VOTE: House · Jul 14, 2023

Heritage Action supports the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

The FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an important step to returning the Department of Defense (DoD) to its fundamental mission, strengthens military readiness, improves lethality of our armed forces, and provides crucial support to the men and women who serve our country everyday. The underlying legislation—and important amendments adopted through robust floor debate—represent a needed refocus on policies and authorities to defend and secure our nation.

To provide for our servicemembers and their families, this bill includes the largest basic pay increase in more than 20 years—5.2 percent. The bill further supports military families by reducing DoD child care fees and authorizing new funding for childcare centers and schools. This is done responsibly by extending legitimate oversight and limiting wasteful spending on certain DoD programs.

Importantly, the bill rejects some of the most egregious attempts to circumvent established federal law and enact far-Left ideological control of the military. The FY24 NDAA prohibits taxpayer funding to implement illegal DoD policy to reimburse for time off, lodging, and travel expenses for elective abortions. It also prohibits taxpayer funding for “gender affirming care” surgeries and gender hormone treatments that directly subverts the mission of our armed forces.

At a time when aggressors across the globe are threatening American interests and influence, the FY24 NDAA prevents anti-American sentiments from being taught to those risking their lives to defend our country. By eliminating the corrosive influence of Critical Race Theory and DEI initiatives that threaten the military’s merit-based standards, this bill rejects the recent moves by the DoD to enact a political agenda from day one of training.

The targeted capabilities provided in the bill are a necessary step in our increasing efforts to counter significant threats from China. This includes enhancing the U.S. defense posture in the Indo-Pacific by extending the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, funding INDOPACOM priorities left unfunded in the Biden budget, and rejecting the proposed early retirement of five warships. The bill also bolsters the defense industrial base through additional investments in shipyards and multiyear procurement authorities for munitions and programs critical to the Indo-Pacific Theater.

Multiple polls have shown that the American public’s confidence in the U.S. military as an institution is at one of its lowest levels ever. An alarming example is a November 2022 poll from the Ronald Reagan Institute, which found a sharp decline in the trust and confidence in the U.S. military. In 2018, 70 percent of Americans responded that they had “a great deal” of trust in the military. In the 2022 results, that dropped to 48 percent. The greatest reason cited in this poll, was a perception that military leadership was becoming “politicized,” with 62 percent reporting that it was either some or a great deal of the reason for the loss in confidence.

At the same time, a Heritage Foundation poll of active duty servicemembers found that 68 percent had witnessed politicization in the military and that 65 percent were somewhat or very concerned about it. This dangerous drop in Americans’ confidence in the military and the simultaneous reporting of politicization is undoubtedly hurting recruitment of future service members further threatening our military preparedness.

We must restore the integrity of the DoD to promote its fundamental mission of providing the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security. While there is more work to be done, the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act is a critical first step to depoliticize the military and ensure America can preserve its strength as a world leader.

Heritage Action supports the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (H.R. 2670) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.