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Waltz Statement Supporting FY23 Defense Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Thursday, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) issued the following statement in support of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes several of his priorities, including ensuring United States military readiness as well as addressing the growing threats the United States faces from adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party and bolstering our military personnel in Florida:

“I’m proud the House Armed Services Committee passed this bill to address the threats of today by bolstering our military with the funding they need rather than the minimal resources requested by the Biden Administration,” said Waltz. “With the Committee’s passage of the NDAA, we’ve given our warfighters $37 billion more in resources that take into account our inflation crisis worsened by the policies of the Biden Administration. Additionally, we secured military construction funding for military bases and installations across Florida that ensures the Sunshine State remains the most military-friendly state in our country.”

“As a Green Beret and combat veteran, I know firsthand the importance of a well-equipped, well-prepared military force to protect our great country,” said Waltz. “Right now, our country faces numerous threats from adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party, whose technology and military capabilities are advancing as rapidly as its ambitions. This year’s defense bill will help us ensure America can face those challenges and any others while protecting our strategic interests at home and abroad – while improving the quality of life for the men and women of our armed services and their families.”

“Rep. Mike Waltz has been laser focused on ensuring that our warfighters have the tools they need to fight and win in future conflict,” said Ranking Member Mike Rogers (AL-3). “Rep. Waltz’s leadership as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Readiness has led to the inclusion of numerous provisions in the FY23 NDAA that will bolster our military’s preparedness to take on any fight that comes their way.”

The committee included Waltz’s language and priorities to:

·        Authorize joint, commander level, multi-domain, interoperable military exercises with Taiwan to help prepare and protect the island from potential Chinese military aggression

·        Permanently prohibit purchases of goods by the Defense Department from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China

·        Require the universities in China that support the Chinese Communist Party’s military to be identified and listed by the Defense Department and intelligence agencies

·        Allocate funding for new construction projects at Florida military bases, including Patrick Space Force Base, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, MacDill Air Force Base, and Eglin Air Force Base

·        Set gender-neutral fitness standards for combat military occupational specialties in the U.S. Army

·        Ensure critically injured members of the Armed Forces are afforded protections, privileges, and rights to due process through the Wounded Warrior Bill of Rights

·        Expand the Defense Department’s stockpile of rare-earth elements and critical minerals, requires country of origin disclosures, and bans purchase of critical materials from Chinese military companies.

·        Oversight of “Over-the-Horizon” Counterterrorism Operations in Afghanistan

·        Prohibit abandonment of K9s on the battlefield and accountability requirements for K9s

·        Promote collaboration between the U.S. and Israel to develop best-practices in researching, diagnosing, and treating PTSD

·        Appoint an Inspector General to oversee US aid to Ukraine

·        Direct military construction funding to the Baltic states and Eastern Europe

·        Authorize the creation of the Space National Guard

·        Increase funding for Space Force’s rapid and responsive launch program

·        Require a federal government strategy for research & development efforts on blockchain, or distributed ledger technologies

·        Exempt Gold Star families from naturalization processing fees

·        Fund the Armed Overwatch program for U.S. Special Forces

 “Each year, this bill provides our military with the resources necessary to face the challenges ahead,” said Waltz. “I am glad to see the progress made in this year’s defense bill during the House Armed Services Committee markup and hope this bipartisan legislation is worthy of the brave men and women in uniform that we depend on to keep America safe and free.”