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Wittman Secures Wins in Defense Appropriations Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) voted in favor of H.R. 4365, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024 – which includes many key priorities that he championed – including bolstering military readiness to counter the Chinese Communist Party, funding innovative weapons systems, offsetting effects of the Biden administration’s inflationary crisis on U.S. service members, and cutting $20 billion in wasteful spending. The bill passed the House by a vote of 218-210.

“We owe a great deal of gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country and ensure our freedom,” said Rep. Wittman, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. “This critical piece of legislation gives our Armed Forces the funding and resources they need to carry out their mission and ensure the U.S. military is the most lethal fighting force in the world. As our near-peer adversaries grow more aggressive, the United States must uphold a strong military presence to deter and overcome any threats to our national security – this bill enables our Armed Forces to do just that.”

This appropriations measure delivers full funding for the U.S. military with $826 billion in new discretionary spending, nearly $27 billion over the FY 2023 enacted level.

The bill accomplishes the following:

  • A 5.2% increase in basic pay for all military personnel effective Jan. 1, 2024, and additional targeted pay increases for certain enlisted grades
  • A historic pay increase for junior enlisted service members of an average of 30%
  • Supports training programs for Taiwan, including through the National Guard State Partnership Program
  • Prioritizes the delivery of defense articles and services to Taiwan
  • Rejects the Biden administration’s inadequate shipbuilding plan by preventing four ships from early retirement
  • Additional funding for 5th and 6th generation aircraft like the F-35 and Next Generation Air Dominance
  • Over $9 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which bolsters U.S. military capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region
  • Invests in next-generation fighter aircraft, helicopters, tactical combat vehicles, and submarines
  • Empowers combatant commanders to quickly obtain the cutting-edge technology and weapons they need and to rapidly get them to the warfighter
  • Funds the modernization of the nuclear triad: the B-21 Raider, the Columbia Class Submarine, and Sentinel

The bill includes the following funding priorities championed by Rep. Wittman:

Bolstering military readiness through:

  • Commercial radar and radio frequency mapping
  • State launched range services and capabilities
  • Support for the Marine Corps long range maneuvering projectile 
  • Additional CMV-22 Aircraft for the Navy
  • Additional Navy Next Generation Surface Search Radar units
  • Commercial launch for targets and countermeasures 
  • Procurement of two Virginia-class submarines and advance procurement for future submarines for the Navy
  • Procurement of the Columbia-class submarine
  • Industrial base analysis and sustainment
  • Navy public shipyard seismic mitigation
  • Research and development for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft for the Navy 
  • Procurement support for Iron Dome
  • Procurement support for the Arrow Weapon System
  • Procurement support for Short Range Ballistic Missile Defense 
  • U.S.-Israel missile defense research, development, test, and evaluation cooperation
  • Civil air patrol operation and maintenance
  • Support for the Air Force’s B-21 Raider

Advancing defense innovation through:

  • Army unmanned aircraft systems testing and research center
  • DoD Defense Innovation Unit 
  • Army alternative navigation systems

Supporting U.S. service members through funding for:

  • Young Marines program
  • U.S. Navy sea cadets
  • U.S. Naval Academy