What $858B Defense Authorization Act Means For U.S. Military Members

The final passage of the 2023 Defense Authorization Act looks to be just a few days away a milestone that proponents say will mark significant gains for the United States Armed Services, while also marking.

Tuesday, December 13th 2022, 5:05 pm



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The final passage of the 2023 Defense Authorization Act looks to be just a few days away a milestone that proponents say will mark significant gains for the United States Armed Services, while also marking.

For all intents and purposes, the end of Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe’s career. On Tuesday of last week, House and Senate negotiators released the final version of next year’s National Defense Authorization Act. On Wednesday, the House passed the NDAA overwhelmingly, with all five Oklahoma members voting in favor. Now, it's up to the Senate.

"The NDAA is ready to go," Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told reporters today, "and we should finish that this week."

The only potential hold-up at this point is the funding authorization that Congress must also pass. If they end up using a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year instead of an omnibus appropriations bill, new programs in the NDAA would be in jeopardy.

"When you have a continuing resolution," said Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK5), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, "and you’re not funding those projects, all of that comes to a halt."

Democratic and Republican leaders indicated Tuesday that negotiations on an omnibus are on track

"I think we're very close to getting an omnibus appropriation bill that would be, I think, broadly appealing," said Sen. McConnell. "It would meet the defense number of the NDAA."

The topline number is $858 billion, a $45 billion increase over what President Biden proposed. $19 billion of that is to offset inflation. Among the many highlights of the James M. Inhofe 2023 National Defense Authorization Act: a 4.6 percent pay raise for service members and Department of Defense civilian workers the Pentagon's vaccine mandate is rescinded the Navy gets $32 billion for shipbuilding the Air Force is authorized to purchase 36 new F-35 Stealth bombers Highlights specific to Oklahoma include: additional funding to speed up the Air Force's acquisition of E-7 Wedgetails, which are replacing the aging E-3 Sentry AWACS planes the Air Force is required to keep a couple of those old AWACS planes at Tinker for training the legislation continues to promote partnerships between the Pentagon, industry contractors, and Oklahoma universities (OU, OSU, and TU.)

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