National Security & Defense

The United States military remains the most powerful fighting force in the world. We must keep it that way. A strong military is the best way to protect our freedom here at home and promote stability around the world.

Alabama has a long history of military excellence and hosts five bases across the state: Redstone Arsenal, Maxwell-Gunter, Fort Rucker, Anniston Army Depot, and Ft. McClellan Training Center Alabama National Guard.

The men and women at these facilities are integral to our national security and Alabama is proud of their dedication to their fellow Americans. 

We must make sophisticated, sustainable, and serious investments towards armed forces to give them the tools they need to protect the nation. We cannot allow ourselves to be outpaced in spending or development by those who wish to do us harm. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I look forward to helping maintain robust funding and supporting strategic plans for research and development.

Alabama is also home to some of the brightest stars in the space industry. Huntsville, “The Rocket City”, plays a vital role in both commercial and national security space efforts—the city has been instrumental to America’s space programs since the Apollo era. I will continue to advocate for Redstone Arsenal, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Space Command, and all of the guardian organizations that help ensure that the U.S. is at the forefront of this new frontier.

Making a Difference

I serve on the Armed Services Committee, which is responsible for authorizing the funding for our military each year through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I work with my colleagues to make necessary investments through the NDAA and support our servicemembers and their families. I serve on important subcommittees that position me well to advocate for the American taxpayer and our service members:

  • The Subcommittee on Strategic Forces is responsible for nuclear and strategic forces; arms control and non-proliferation programs; space programs; Department of Energy defense nuclear and defense environmental management programs; and missile defense.
  • The Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities is responsible for policies and programs related to science and technology, special operations, intelligence, counterterrorism, security cooperation, strategic communications and information operations, countering weapons of mass destruction, and homeland defense.
  • Subcommittee on Personnel is responsible for military and DOD civilian personnel policies; military personnel compensation and benefits; military health care; and military nominations.

Our world is growing more dangerous with adversaries around the globe testing our resolve. It is critical we ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources necessary to combat threats from land, sea, sky, and space.

  • spoke about the need for increased defense spending to ensure the U.S. remains the strongest military in the world. WATCH.
  • worked with my colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee to strengthen our country’s military readiness beyond the Biden administration’s insufficient budget.
  • Through my work on the NDAA, I never missed an opportunity to highlight Alabama’s pivotal role in our nation’s defense. READ more here. 
  • I discussed how President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget ignored the realities facing our nation.
  • I urged President Biden to increase the defense budget by 5 percent above inflation to meet growing threats to U.S. national security.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the annual defense bill used to provide funding levels for our nation’s armed forces and military priorities. I secured wins for our nation and Alabama in the NDAA.

  • I fought for specific language to boost hypersonic development and testing while also providing language to further current missile defense capabilities.
  • I fought for increased funding authorization for advanced satellite development for space-based communications.
  • I secured funding language to support repair and maintenance for Dannelly Field.
  • I secured funding authorization to renovate and improve the army barracks at Ft. Rucker.
  • I delivered funding language for a second Guided Missile Destroyer (DDG) 51 Flight III.

Small defense contractors are the backbone of our defense industry, providing the innovation and resources necessary so our military can remain at the top of their game. In the past 30 years, these businesses have struggled to compete with large defense contractors, causing a drastic reduction in the industry. I have sought out ways to provide long-term viability for our small defense contractors.

  • fought for the authorization of a pilot program to incentivize employee ownership for government contractors.
  • championed an effort to increase the threshold for 100% employee-owned businesses to remain small-business eligible even as they grow past 1,000 employees. This allows for continued access to critical resources to promote sustained growth.

Our military needs to do what it does best – defend our country and its freedoms. I pushed back against the politicization of our military and opposed nominees from the Biden administration who do not have the temperament and judgement necessary to lead our national defense.

  • I stressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that our military must stay focused on their mission, remain apolitical, and not be subject to “woke indoctrination.”
  • I strongly opposed President Biden’s unfit nominee for the third highest position within the Department of Defense. WATCH.

We need to increase safety and accountability within our armed forces. Ensuring our men and women are safe within their ranks and there is proper oversight of our armed forces strengthens our military at home and aboard.

  • cosponsored the bipartisan Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act, which would take critical steps to create a more professional and transparent military justice system for serious crimes. 
  • joined colleagues in asking the Department of Defense to complete a full financial audit to make sure all taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately.
  • cosponsored the bipartisan SHIPYARD Act, which would invest in the modernization of U.S. public and private shipyards and improve naval readiness.

The Communist Chinese Party seeks to overtake the United States as the top global superpower. We must face China’s growing military and non-military threats with clear-eyed resolve. 

  • highlighted the many threats  Communist China poses to our country and urged my colleagues to take commonsense steps to combat Chinese aggression. WATCH.
  • spoke about the danger of China’s non-military threats to the U.S. interests at home and abroad. WATCH.
  • I traveled to the Indo-Pacific region to support the U.S. military’s largest combatant command, meet with our allies and partners, and discuss ways to counter Chinese aggression.

Our nation’s defense contractors are highly skilled workers who should not be forced to resign due to the administration’s heavy-handed vaccine mandates. These mandates pose a grave risk to our national security.

  • warned about the impact of vaccine mandates and cumbersome COVID regulations on U.S. national security. WATCH.
  • I led the charge urging President Biden to reverse course on the implementation of the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for defense contractors.
  • requested the Senate Armed Services Committee have a hearing to review to impact of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on U.S. national security.
  • led an effort to support Alabama’s clothing and textile manufactures by calling for targeted action from the Department of Defense (DoD) to address constrains placed on companies from COVID and inflation.

The American people deserve answers about President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. I pushed for accountability and transparency from all levels of the Biden administration. 

  • I pressed President Biden and top administration officials for answers regarding the exit from Afghanistan that cost American lives and made our world less safe.
  • I called on the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings about the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
  • ‘‘To those soldiers, sailors, Marines, airman, and guardsmen who served in Afghanistan, I promise you this: we will get answers from this Administration.’ WATCH my full floor speech. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine needed to be met with a swift and strong response from the Biden administration, but instead President Biden has led from behind. President Biden’s weakness on the world stage is a top concern.

  • discussed the global impact of Vladimir Putin’s unjustified war against Ukraine and the forceful condemnation from NATO and our allies. WATCH 
  • called on my colleagues in the U.S. Senate and our allies to ensure Russia pays a heavy price for Putin’s aggression.
  • spoke about how China is eyeing the Western world’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. WATCH.
  • pressed the Biden administration to unleash the full force of sanctions on the Russian economy and take swift action to provide the Ukrainian people the tools they need to defend themselves.  WATCH.

The United States should not enter any version of the failed 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. The United States should stand strong against our adversaries, like Iran, not negotiate favorable deals with them.

  • urged the Biden administration to abandon any negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal and discussed how any deal would not be in the best interests of the United States. WATCH.
  • “The nuclear limitations in this new deal appear to be significantly less restrictive than the 2015 nuclear deal, which was itself too weak, and will sharply undermine U.S. leverage to secure an actually ‘longer and stronger’ deal.” READ more here.