WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and ranking member of the SASC Personnel Subcommittee, released the following statement on what he is fighting for in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 24 NDAA). Each year, Senator Scott has fought as a member of the SASC to secure provisions in the NDAA that bolster Florida’s military installations, support U.S. service members, veterans and their families and protect America’s national security, including a 5.2% pay raise for service members. The U.S. military is incredibly important to Florida, which is home to 21 military bases and three unified combatant commands, nearly 64,000 active duty members, 38,000 reservists and more than 1.5 million veterans.
Senator Rick Scott said, “As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member on the Subcommittee for Personnel, I have fought tooth and nail to make sure that our brave men and women in uniform are taken care of in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. We’ve gotten big wins this year, like a 5.2% pay raise for our brave service members, improvements to child care centers on bases, and a stop to the ridiculous and shortsighted rule by the Biden administration to place speed and sailing limits in the Gulf – an area that’s vital for military training exercises and the local economy.
“Bottom line: our military should be focused on one thing, which is protecting America’s security by being the most lethal fighting force on the planet. When we do that and take care of the families who support our heroes in uniform, America is safer. That’s why I’m fighting for amendments in the FY 24 NDAA that combat the growing threats we face from Communist China, Russia and Iran and stop politicians in Washington from using America’s armed forces as some wild social experiment. I will be demanding votes on these amendments in the coming weeks so that each member of the Senate can go on the record and show the world our support for a strong and lethal military fighting force. I will not cave to wokeness in our military and I’ll never stop fighting for the safety and security of our nation and Florida’s families.”
Below are the following amendments Senator Scott is fighting for:
- American Security Drone Act 2023 to ban federal agencies from buying and operating Chinese-made drones;
- Countering Unwanted Foreign Influence at Institutions of Higher Learning by mandating that zero funds are provided to an institution of higher education that hosts a Confucius Institute or Russian Partnership;
- Gulf Oil Drilling Moratorium to prohibit oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico;
- US & Israel PTSD Research Collaboration to leverage the research assets of both the U.S. and Israel to develop best practices in research, diagnosing, and treating PTSD. The legislation establishes a grant program for American universities and private non-profit institutions that team up with an Israeli counterpart with the same purpose; and
- U.S. Customs Waters legislation that would allow the Coast Guard to operate within the whole of U.S. territorial waters, allowing the jurisdiction necessary to keep American families safe from drug and human traffickers.
In its current form, the FY 2024 NDAA includes several measures fought for and secured by Senator Scott:
- A 5.2% pay raise for our brave service members;
- An assessment of the Biden administration’s NOAA Rice’s Whale Rule, which would implement an 11.5 MPH speed limit and prohibit nighttime sailing in the Gulf, to ensure bureaucracy and red tape do not negatively impact Florida’s robust commerce and shipping industry as well as military preparedness;
- Improves opportunities for parent input and involvement in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) programs and schools;
- Works to protect female athletes at U.S. Service Academies by requiring the Pentagon to explain their policies on biological males participating in women’s sports;
- Authorizing improvements to the quality and oversight of military enlisted barracks;
- Requires a pilot program to assess the effectiveness of increasing pay for employees of DOD Child Development Centers in improving the ability to recruit and retain providers to ensure service members and their families are receiving high-quality and dependable childcare;
- Authorizes military dependents to receive space available dental care at military dental treatment facilities at certain remote or isolated locations;
- Protecting Homestead Air Reserve Base by encouraging the Air Force to continue strong history of fighter and flying missions to ensure South Florida continues to lead the way in power projection in the Western Hemisphere and keeping Floridians and Americans safe;
- Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Effectiveness and Impact Study that requires a briefing and report from the Department of Defense on whether the base, 90 miles from Florida where the Chinese Communist Party has established spying operations, is being used effectively to defend the national security interests of the United States from foreign governments such as China and Russia.
- Improvements at Florida bases, including but not limited to:
- Patrick Space Force Base: C2C Consolidated Communications Center, Commercial Vehicle Inspection, South Gate Final Denial Barriers
- MacDill Air Force Base: KC-46A ADAL Aircraft Corrosion Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Hangar, Apron & Hydrant Fueling Pits, Fuel Systems Maintenance Docks
- Camp Blanding: Multipurpose Machine Gun Range
- Naval Air Station Whiting Field: AHTS Hangar
- Tyndall Air Force Base: Natural Disaster Recovery
- Funding to complete Army Reserve Center in Perrine
- Authorizing increased funding for cutting-edge technologies to improve warfighter lethality and survivability, including night vision enhancements, multi-spectral camouflage development, and Black Hawk, Apache, and Chinook helicopter performance improvements;
- Authorizes increased funding for the LGM-35A Sentinel program, the Fleet Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapon System, and the Hypersonic Targets and Countermeasures Program to deter enemies that threaten Americans’ security and way of life; and
- Requires engagement with appropriate officials of Taiwan for the purpose of expanding cooperation on military cybersecurity activities.