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Wittman House Floor Remarks on FY23 NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Vice Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and Ranking Member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Congressman Wittman’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

I want to thank Mr. Rogers for yielding. 

Yesterday, we remembered the 81st anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The United States was surprised by the audacious Japanese attack and our national security was placed in peril.  Times have changed and Japan is a bedrock ally in the Pacific today, but I can’t help but wonder if we learned the hard earned lessons of Pearl Harbor or whether we are drifting in strategic malaise and will be caught unprepared by another attack on our national security. 

Frankly, we are not ready.  With a Navy fleet that continues to tread water in overall force structure and an Air Force that continues to cede combat fire power, I am not confident of our trajectory. 

That is why I am pleased that we have rejected a multitude of reckless national security objectives proposed by the Biden administration. This bill authorizes a 20% increase in ship construction, partially rejects an ill-advised “divest to invest” strategy and blocks a multitude of poison pills that were haphazardly tacked on to this legislation. 

While this is a good bill, worthy of support, I look forward to the next congress where we can assert with greater certainty, a revised trajectory for our national security. We need to better assure our partners and allies and avoid our pre-World War II hubris by decisively deterring future aggressors.  We have much work to do.

I want to thank Ranking Member Rogers and his leadership during the topline debate this year.  We are adopting his budget vision today, a vision that ensures real growth for Defense.  I also want to particularly thank Chairman Courtney for his desire to reach bipartisan consensus.  

My friends, this is a good bill that advances the national security of the United States. I urge our members to offer their support. 

I thank the gentleman for recognizing me, and I yield back the balance of my time.