BILL SUMMARY: Defense Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill
Bill strengthens our deterrent capabilities and global readiness and supports our servicemembers and their families
Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Appropriations Act provides $831.781 billion in total funding.
“As Chairman of the Senate committee that sets the military’s budget, my top priority is making sure our armed forces have the necessary resources to defend our freedoms and keep our nation safe,” said Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “I’m committed to securing a budget that invests in our ability to stay ahead of the threat of China, defend our country from foreign adversaries, and take care of our servicemembers and their families. Today’s markup is a critical step toward delivering for our military, and I look forward to getting our defense budget across the finish line.”
“This bill provides important new resources to make sure we maintain our edge as our competitors work to gain ground—with investments in our capabilities in critical regions like the Indo-Pacific and essential modernization efforts,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Importantly, this bill also supports our servicemembers who put their lives on the line to keep our country safe with new funding so that military families can get the child care and early learning, mental health care, and other support they need.”
Key Points & Highlights
Global Readiness and Deterrence: The bill provides $534 million above the President’s budget request to improve U.S. INDO-PACOM’s deterrence, including $360 million for U.S. INDO-PACOM’s campaigning activities with allies and partners. It adds $400 million for U.S. AFRICOM and U.S. SOUTHCOM to assist allies and partners in withstanding aggression from adversaries like the Chinese government. The bill also provides $228 million, a $20 million increase above the President’s budget request, for the Baltic Security Initiative to support ongoing security cooperation with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The bill funds contested logistics capabilities within the Pacific theater, including $858 million for Army prepositioned stocks, $508 million for Pacific theater joint training exercises, and the procurement of two additional used sealift vessels.
Supporting Servicemembers and Families: The bill fully funds the 5.2 percent pay raise for servicemembers, while providing $29.6 billion for housing and $8.4 billion for subsistence, which are all critical to supporting our servicemembers and their families. The bill also adds $20 million for the renovation and repairs of child development centers (CDCs) and $33 million to support programs for child care workers at CDCs to help address challenges installations around the country are facing in hiring and retaining child care workers. To expand high-quality, early education at Department of Defense Education Activity schools, $94 million is provided for full-day, universal pre-K—an increase of $66.5 million over last year—which will double enrollment.
The bill also adds $47 million for continued implementation and expansion of the Sexual Assault Special Victims’ Counsel Program to help survivors of sexual assault seek justice, provides $59.2 million for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to support sexual assault prevention programs, and provides $18.3 million, an increase of $10 million over the request, to implement the recommendations of the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee.
Defense Communities: The bill provides $451 million above the President’s budget request to support defense communities, including: $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program; and $401 million for defense environmental mitigation activities, including PFAS cleanup, aqueous film-forming foam removal and disposal, the Military Munitions Response Program, the Installation Restoration Program, and the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program.
Army Modernization: The bill supports Army signature modernization across all eight cross-functional teams and ongoing investments for major acquisition programs. This includes investments in long-range hypersonic weapons, future vertical lift, and precision strike missile development. The bill also provides $3.6 billion for Army combat tracked vehicles, which includes $532 million for an additional 53 Abrams tanks to maintain the production line.
Air Force Modernization: The bill includes a 16.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2023 for Warfighter Technologist efforts, which provide a codified process of identifying, developing, and transitioning needed capabilities to the warfighter. The bill also includes $497 million to fully fund the F-35 Engine Core Upgrade and adds $280 million for future engine technologies. It also adds $37.2 million to accelerate the E-7 Wedgetail program and $200 million to expand the industrial base for the Air Force’s Ground-based Strategic Deterrent program.
Weapons: The bill funds all multi-year procurement contracts requested by the President for weapons to meet increased U.S. and allied requirements. The bill also provides $1.4 billion more to be divided proportionately among the services and the National Guard and Reserve to improve readiness across the globe.
Navy Shipbuilding: The bill includes $33.3 billion to build new ships. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Navy to enter into a multi-year procurement contract for 10 SSN VIRGINIA class submarines, fully funds the Navy’s new Virginia Class Material strategy, and provides $470 million in procurement for Virginia Class submarine spares and repair parts to support submarine maintenance availabilities and reduce delays.
Medical Research, Science, and Technology: The bill provides $1.1 billion above the President’s budget request through the Defense Health Program and services research and development activities to advance research, close gaps, and deliver solutions to improve patient care, develop cures, and support the health and well-being of servicemembers. The bill also includes $20.3 billion in science and technology initiatives. It provides $770 million more than the President’s budget request for basic research, the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, STEM research, and alternative and operational energy research to invest in our technological future.
Artificial Intelligence: The bill includes $141 million above the President’s budget request to continue implementing recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. The bill adds $90 million to advance the Department of Defense’s adoption of artificial intelligence, accelerating the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer’s plans by one fiscal year.
Homeland Defense: The bill includes $293.5 million more than the President’s budget request for radars, radar upgrades, and communications equipment to protect the U.S. homeland from surveillance efforts by adversaries like the Chinese government, and makes overdue improvements to NORTHCOM/NORAD’s domain awareness.
Infrastructure: The bill provides $2.1 billion more to upgrade degrading military facilities, including $130 million to make seismic repairs at Navy shipyards, $50 million for the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program, and $1.7 billion for facility sustainment and modernization activities across the services.
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