Alabama has always been at the forefront of providing for our national defense, and with my amendments, we will remain at the forefront for generations to come.”
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined his colleagues in voting to pass the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which outlines our military’s spending and provides guidance on defense policy and funding priorities . As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Tuberville worked to produce this annual defense spending blueprint providing major wins for our Armed Forces and the state of Alabama.
For more than six decades, Congress has worked in a bipartisan manner to develop and pass the NDAA. Staying competitive with the private sector, the NDAA provides for a 5.2% pay raise for our military, expands Junior ROTC, and returns $400 million in savings from personnel decreases into new recruiting and retention efforts. Additionally, the FY24 NDAA rejects President Biden’s reckless plan to shrink our Navy, which is especially important in the face of China’s rapid expansion of its navy and ensures the Department of Defense has the hard power and infrastructure to maximize readiness and lethality now and in the future. The funding blueprint holds woke Pentagon bureaucrats accountable by freezing all DEI hiring and replaces all DoD equity programming with initiatives focused on equal opportunity, including at service academies.
“Providing for the national defense, is one of the most important things that we do in Congress,” said Senator Tuberville. “At a time of rising threats around the world and an administration injecting politics into our military, it is important for Congress to put in place the right policies for the Department of Defense. I’m especially pleased that the Senate passed legislation that includes several of my amendments that will help Alabama, such as ending the uncertainty over Space Command, securing millions of dollars in contracts for Alabama defense contractors, and keeping our enemies from buying our farmland. I am hopeful that the conference committee will work quickly and effectively to find bipartisan common ground and put the Department of Defense back on track. Alabama has always been at the forefront of providing for our national defense, and with my amendments, we will remain at the forefront for generations to come.”
In his third year on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Tuberville secured significant wins for Alabama’s defense industrial base, employee-owned companies (ESOPs), and worked to accelerate the decision to bring SPACECOM to Alabama. Senator Tuberville began the FY24 NDAA cycle in February 2023 by hosting a virtual meeting with Alabama community leaders, advocacy groups, and industry stakeholders, where he shared his defense priorities of deterrence, readiness, lethality, and risk tolerance. He also shared with participants exactly how the process would work to ensure he could best accommodate requests. Senator Tuberville and his team then participated in more than 30 hearings and hosted hundreds of meetings with government officials, industry leaders, think tanks, and key stakeholders in preparation for the FY24 NDAA markups.
Senator Tuberville requested severed provisions which were all included in 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.
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.