Senate Passes NDAA
Sen. Kevin Cramer release
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer, R-ND, issued the following statement after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 with a vote of 86 to 11.
“The National Defense Authorization Act is a critical part of Congress’ first Constitutional duty to protect and defend the nation. This year’s bill provides critical funding for the maintenance and modernization of our military and reflects both the needs of our troops and emerging threats. We live in dangerous times where American leadership and resolve are needed more than ever. North Dakota plays a pivotal role in our national security, and I am grateful this bill supports our servicemen and women and their families while investing in the military assets and facilities across the state.”
FY24 NDAA Topline Provisions:
The FY24 NDAA provides for the national defense of the United States.
Specifically, this NDAA:
• Authorizes a total of $886.3 billion in Fiscal Year 2024 funding for national defense.
• Authorizes $844.3 billion for the Department of Defense and $32.4 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy.
• Provides a 5.2% pay raise for both military servicemembers and the DOD civilian workforce.
• Authorizes requested funding for procurement of naval vessels, combat aircraft, armored vehicles, weapon systems, and munitions.
• Mandates a full accounting of the cost and content of previously opaque and unaccountable DEI programming across the Department and ensures senior defense officials are not required to take time and effort promoting these toxic policies.
• Includes U.S. Senator Roger Wicker’s, R-MS, Merit Act, which would help preserve the performance-based warfighting ethos of the military and stop the toxic, so-called ‘equity’ agenda at the DOD at its source.
Senator Cramer cosponsored two amendments aimed at countering Chinese influence, both of which passed with overwhelming support. Senator Rounds’ amendment will prevent agricultural investments by foreign persons and businesses from countries deemed as adversaries, including China. This provision will help prevent national security risks like Fufeng’s investment in Grand Forks from happening again. Senator Cornyn’s amendment will establish a process led by the Department of the Treasury, in coordination with the Department of Commerce, to require U.S. firms to notify Treasury when participating in certain “covered activities” in countries of concern.
Senator Cramer also supported a bipartisan amendment barring the Biden administration from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to foreign adversaries like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
North Dakota Projects and Priorities:
As the first-ever North Dakotan to serve on an Armed Services committee in Congress, Senator Cramer has used his seat on SASC to secure funding authorization and language for missions both directly and indirectly benefiting North Dakota’s military community. This year’s bill fully funds nuclear modernization efforts, supports efforts to develop increased intelligence capabilities, grows the Space Force, and authorizes multiple North Dakota military projects.
Senator Cramer has also been a vocal supporter of the nation’s nuclear triad and has pushed military leaders at the highest levels to keep Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) modernization funded and on-time.
Minot Air Force Base (AFB):
• Provides $3.7 billion for Sentinel modernization.
• Provides $770 million for B-52 commercial engine replacement program and radar modernization.
• Provides $40.8 million for the Nuclear Command, Control & Communication program, which will modernize the communications equipment used at Minot AFB.
• Limits the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile count to no less than 400 total protecting our nuclear deterrent.
Grand Forks AFB:
• Directs the Secretary of the Air Force to provide a briefing on options to return the Grand Forks AFB Runway to its original width for future strategic bomber usage.
• RQ-4 Retirement Prohibition
• Space Development Agency
o Expresses a sense of the Senate that the Secretary of the Air Force should fully staff SDA with three senior executive service positions.
Cavalier Space Force Station and Perimeter Acquisition Radar Attack Characterization System:
• Adds $8 million for PARCS modernization.
North Dakota Army National Guard and Air National Guard:
• Provides almost $2 million for Camp Grafton’s Institutional Post-Initial Military Training Unaccompanied Housing.
• Provides $5.425 million for cost to complete on Dickinson’s National Guard Readiness Center.
Key North Dakota Projects:
• US Marine Corps Advanced Technology Demonstration: Hardware in the Loop capabilities was increased by $5 million to support efforts by Ideal Aerosmith in Grand Forks.
• Advanced Composites: Increased funding by $5 million for NDSU’s work on Multi-material protective systems.
This is the fifth NDAA Senator Cramer has helped craft as a member of SASC. In 2019, he was able to shepherd through committee the creation of the U.S. Space Force, and from 2020 to 2023, he secured a host of pro-North Dakota provisions in the legislation.