Puts Pressure on Air Force to Move SPACECOM, Promotes AL Contractors and Producers
WASHINGTON — Today the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released the text of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA, which SASC passed on a bipartisan basis, contains several provisions secured by Alabama’s voice on SASC, Coach Tommy Tuberville.
“This is the land of the free because it’s the home of the brave,” said Senator Tuberville. “Our freedom and our security depend upon the effectiveness and lethality of our military. Our heroes in uniform deserve a defense bill that gives them the resources, the authority, and the policies that enable them to defend this country. Alabama is proud to play a major role in defending this nation, because we play a key role in defense production, and above all because of the brave Alabamians who wear the uniform. It is my honor to serve on this Committee and to help Alabama serve our national defense.“
The following provisions were requested by Coach Tuberville and have been included in the Committee text of this year’s NDAA.
Space Command (SPACECOM)
The Senate NDAA would prohibit funds to construct or improve the temporary SPACECOM facilities in Colorado Springs. It would also limit the Secretary of the Air Force’s travel budget until a final headquarters location decision has been made. This provision will help accelerate the decision-making process and put pressure on the Biden Administration to finally put politics aside and bring SPACECOM headquarters to Huntsville, which the Air Force selected over 59 locations on the basis of 21 objective criteria.
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Companies
Building on the success of the pilot program Coach Tuberville included in the Fiscal Year 2022 NDAA, the Fiscal Year 2024 NDAA would extend the program and remove barriers for ESOPs to compete for more defense contracts. Alabama is home to many defense contractors that are ESOPs.
Coach Tuberville secured millions of dollars in contracts for Alabama’s defense industrial base, as well as a requirement that the Secretary of Defense promote competition between suppliers of building materials—such as lumber—for military construction projects. Mass timber is a major industry in Alabama.
Critical Minerals sourcing
Coach Tuberville’s provision would encourage the Department of Defense to source more critical minerals and military component production from the United States—lessening our dependence on China. Alabama produces a variety of critical materials, such as graphite and carbon fiber.
The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, outlines our military’s spending and provides guidance on defense policy and funding priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year. For over six decades, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have worked in a bipartisan manner to produce this annual defense spending blueprint.
For SASC’s Executive Summary of the NDAA, click here.
Now that the bill has been reported out of SASC, it would need to pass the Senate and the House before being signed into law.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.