FILE PHOTO: U.S. Capitol. Photo by Harold Mendoza on Unsplash
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representative has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including many provisions advanced by Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) advocating for Hill Air Force Base and Utah’s defense community.
“Putting forth a defense bill that serves the needs of both the warfighter and military families continues to be one of my top priorities in Congress,” Moore said after the House floor vote.
With its usual broad bipartisan support, the NDAA passed the House by a vote of 329-101 on July 14.
Moore’s staff said that House Republicans were successful in including programs to deter Russian and Chinese aggression, such as the Pacific Deterrence Initiative; to improve supply chain security and industrial base readiness; and, to secure needed funding for service members and their families across the nation and overseas.
“For the second year in a row,” Moore explained, “the Biden administration’s defense budget recklessly disregarded the impacts of inflation, attrition and peer competition on our military.
“The defense bill passed by the House … reverses injurious cuts to our military and restores funding for procurement, research and training while also protecting the rights and resources for our military families.”
In the spring, President Joe Biden suggested a rather austere budget of $802 billion for the armed services.
The NDAA jointly passed July 14 by 180 Democrats and 149 Republicans set Pentagon spending for Fiscal 2023 at $839 billion.
The House bill authorized a 4.6% pay raise for service members, plus a 2.4% inflationary bonus for junior enlisted personnel.
Closer to home, the House bill authorizes the modernization of 66 buildings at Hill AFB south of Ogden that were constructed more than 80 years ago.
The House bill also fully funds that Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program at Hill AFB.
The GBSD program is an $80 billion multi-year effort to replace Minuteman missiles now based in silos throughout the West with the Sentinel missile being developed by Northrop-Grumman.
Moore said that the GBSD program is expected to bring some 4,000 new defense jobs to Utah.
The U.S. Senate is currently working on its own version of the NDAA, with recommended spending levels of $846 billion.
After a joint conference committee oversees a compromise between those alternative measures, the final version will still need to be voted on by both the House and Senate before being forwarded to the president for approval.
Moore recently defeated two Republican challengers to win the GOP nomination to retain his seat in Congress. He will face Democratic candidate Rick Jones in the November election.