BILL SUMMARY: Defense Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill


Bill makes new investments in our servicemembers and military families and strengthens our deterrent capabilities and global readiness


Rejects extreme Republican riders to restrict abortion access for servicemembers, weaken climate resilience at installations, promote discrimination against LGBTQ+ servicemembers, and more


***Bill text, explanatory statement, & more available HERE***  


Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Appropriations Act provides $825 billion in total funding.


“It’s critical that our brave men and women in uniform have the resources they need to defend our freedoms and keep our country safe,” said Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. “As Chairman of the Senate committee that sets our military’s budget, I’m proud to have worked with Republicans and Democrats on this strong bipartisan bill that will invest in our ability to stay ahead of the threat of China, defend our country from foreign adversaries while standing firm with America’s allies, and take care of our servicemembers and their families. I urge my colleagues to get our defense budget across the finish line without delay so that our military has the tools they need to keep America the greatest country in the world.”


“This bipartisan bill will help to ensure our military remains the strongest in the world to deter conflict, promote stability, and keep our country safe,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Critically, this bill makes important new investments in the brave men and women who keep our country safe. It will help ensure our military families are able to make ends meet and get the child care they need. It invests in cleanup of forever chemicals on our bases and delivers essential resources to support the wellbeing of servicemembers, including by increasing funding to strengthen suicide prevention efforts and address sexual assault and harassment.”


Key Points & Highlights


Supporting Servicemembers and Families:


  • Compensation: The bill fully funds the requested 5.2% pay raise for servicemembers and civilians and provides $29.6 billion for military housing and $8.4 billion for subsistence for military families—all of which are critical to supporting our servicemembers and their families. The bill provides $80 million above the budget request for enlistment and medical bonuses, and $30 million above the budget request for recruiting and advertising efforts to address persistent recruiting challenges. The bill also provides $43 million above the budget request for servicemembers’ Basic Needs Allowance, junior enlisted monthly economic hardship bonuses, and servicemember recruitment incentives. It also includes $10 million above the budget request for a pilot program to address food insecurity among military families.


  • Child Care & Early Education: The bill provides $167 million to fully fund the Department of Defense’s (DOD) child care initiatives. This includes $33 million to enable DOD to offer a 50% discount for the first child of employees of DOD child development centers to improve recruitment and retention of staff, and it includes $94 million, an increase of $66.5 million over fiscal year 2023, to support full-day universal pre-K and double enrollment from 1,810 to 3,625 children of servicemembers. It also provides $20 million above the budget request for the renovation and repair of DOD child development centers.


  • Sexual Assault Prevention: The bill provides $47 million above the budget request for the Special Victims’ Counsel program to help survivors of sexual assault and $59.2 million for the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.


  • Suicide Prevention: The bill provides $18.3 million to implement the recommendations of the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee—$10 million above the budget request. It also provides $20 million above the budget request to support the Navy’s suicide prevention and response efforts, and $10 million for Department-wide suicide prevention.


Defense Communities: The bill makes substantial investments in defense communities, including: $50 million for the Defense Community Infrastructure Program and $265 million above the budget request for defense environmental mitigation activities, including PFAS cleanup, AFFF removal and disposal, the Military Munitions Response Program, the Installation Restoration Program, and the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration program.


Global Readiness: The bill provides $92 million above the budget request to improve U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s deterrence. It adds $20 million for the Baltic Security Initiative, for a total of $228 million, and also adds $26.2 million for security cooperation with Taiwan, for a total of $108 million. The bill provides $27.6 million above the budget request to support Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid, for a total of $142.5 million. The bill provides $100 million above the request for U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Southern Command to increase partnerships with our partners and allies in two key areas where the Chinese government is competing for influence.


Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI): The bill includes $300 million in funding for USAI, as requested, to continue support for Ukraine. Separately, the bill provides $4.6 million above the budget request for the Special Inspector General for Operational Atlantic Resolve to support additional oversight over the Department’s activities related to Ukraine.


National Guard and Reserves: The bill provides $1 billion above the budget request for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account, including $310 million for the Army National Guard, $300 million for the Air National Guard, $155 million for the Army Reserve, $57 million for the Navy Reserve, $23 million for the Marine Corps Reserve, and $155 million for the Air Force Reserve. The bill also provides $222 million above the budget request for National Guard counter-drug programs to strengthen efforts to disrupt the flow of illicit drugs.


Medical Research: The bill provides $3.287 billion for defense medical research—sustaining investments to advance research, close gaps, and deliver solutions to improve patient care, develop cures, and support the health and well-being of servicemembers.


Investing in the Future: The bill includes $21.43 billion for science and technology funding—$3.6 billion above the budget request. It provides $770 million above the 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. It also includes $50 million for the U.S. National Defense Stockpile Transaction Fund to protect U.S. access to critical minerals required for the production of key weapons systems.


Artificial Intelligence and Tech: The bill provides more than $100 million above the budget request to advance DOD’s adoption of artificial intelligence, including $10 million to accelerate the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer’s investments in autonomy. The bill streamlines and increases funding for Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), providing a total of $343 million and requiring a plan for current and future investments in the capability.


Climate Resilience: The bill includes $3.47 billion, an increase of $973 million over fiscal year 2023, to strengthen operational climate and energy resiliency at military installations.


Army Modernization: The bill supports Army modernization efforts across all eight cross functional teams and ongoing investments for major acquisition programs. This includes: investments in critical munitions such as the long-range hypersonic weapon and precision strike missile development; $3.72 billion for Army combat vehicles, an increase of $431.5 million over the budget request, which includes a $532 million increase for the procurement of additional Abrams tanks to address the Army’s unfunded requirement; full funding for Future Vertical Lift; and for Army aviation, the bill adds $60 million for UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for the Army National Guard, $177.5 million for CH-47 Chinook helicopters, $43.9 million for an additional MH-47 to replace a SOCOM operational loss, and $68 million for MQ-1C Gray Eagles.


Aviation Modernization: The bill includes $40.66 billion in aviation procurement accounts, an increase of $3 billion above the budget request. Specifically, the bill includes: $2.3 billion to fully fund the Next Generation Air Dominance program and collaborative combat aircraft development; $266 million to fully fund the F-35 Engine Core Upgrade; and support for the Air Force’s request to terminate the Advanced Engine Technology Program. For Air Force and Naval aviation, the bill adds: $280 million for engine technologies; $200 million to accelerate the E-7 Wedgetail program; $200 million for industrial base support, construction, and prototyping acceleration for the Air Force’s Ground-based Strategic Deterrent (Sentinel) program; $1.8 billion for ten additional P-8s; $1.1 billion for additional C-130Js; $675 million for five additional CMV-22s; $541 million for additional F-35s and engine spares; $413 million for two additional E-2Ds; and $400 million for ten additional Combat Rescue Helicopters.


Navy Shipbuilding: The bill includes $33.6 billion for the construction of 8 new ships—$732 million above the budget request. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Navy to enter into a multi-year procurement contract for VIRGINIA class submarines, and fully funds the Navy’s new Virginia Class Material strategy by including $470 million in procurement for Virginia Class submarine spares and repair parts to support submarine maintenance availabilities and reduce delays. Specific additional investments include: full funding for COLUMBIA class submarines; $1.35 billion for advance procurement of an additional DDG-51; $585 million for four additional Ship-to-Shore Connectors; $350 million in surface shipyard workforce and infrastructure improvements; $500 million for advance procurement of LPD 33; $30 million for an additional YRBM; $72 million for an additional APL; and $13.7 billion for ship depot maintenance.


Space Modernization: The bill includes $18.67 billion in research and development funding for the U.S. Space Force, a $2.04 billion or 12% increase over fiscal year 2023. The bill supports the Department’s efforts to transition to a proliferated architecture to increase resiliency and effectiveness against peer adversaries. Specific investments include: $330 million in classified activities; $80 million to support payload processing facilitation at national launch facilities; and $40 million for a commercial surveillance, reconnaissance, and tracking pilot program to increase situational awareness of Combatant Commanders and our partners and allies.


Counter Unmanned Aerial Systems: The bill fully funds the budget request for Counter-small Unmanned Aerial Systems and provides more than $177 million above the budget request, including for Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems (CUAS) Group 3 Defeat Acceleration, 5G-enabled drones, and high energy laser atmospheric study and prototype systems.


Homeland Defense: The bill provides $182 million above the budget request for radars, radar upgrades, and communications equipment to protect the U.S. homeland from surveillance efforts by the Chinese government and makes overdue improvements to NORTHCOM/NORAD’s domain awareness.


Weapons: The bill supports multi-year procurement contracts for the Naval Strike Missile; Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System; Patriot Advanced Capability 3 Missile Segment Enhancement; Long Range Anti-Ship Missile; Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile; and Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, and includes long-lead funding for NSM, GMLRS, PAC-3 MSE, LRASM, and JASSM.


Infrastructure: The bill includes $658 million above the budget request to upgrade degrading military facilities, including: $130 million to make seismic repairs at Navy shipyards; $50 million for the Shipyard Infrastructure Optimization Program; and $478 million for other facility, sustainment and modernization installations shortfalls.


Innovation: The bill provides more than $200 million for the Replicator initiative to support the development and fielding of thousands of attritable, autonomous systems. It provides $946 million for the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), an increase of $842 million above the budget request, to accelerate the Department’s investments in innovative, commercial technologies with relevance to the warfighter. The Office of Strategic Capital is provided with budget authority for over $900 million in loans to promising companies that can scale to further support the defense industrial base. The bill includes strong safeguards to ensure that loans and loan guarantees are only provided to companies with a strong financial track record, protecting the interest of the taxpayer.