WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt successfully passed a large number of amendments in this year’s NDAA. These amendments range from combatting divisive DEI politics in the military to funding modernization efforts amongst Missouri’s multiple military installations:
“I’m proud to have played a critical role in securing funding for our military installations in Missouri, as well as combatting the Biden Administration’s blatant attempts to infuse our military with woke DEI policies in this year’s NDAA. Modernizing our nuclear deterrence, funding our bases at home and abroad, and stripping woke politics out of the world’s greatest meritocracy is essential in order to ensure our military remains the most capable fighting force in the world, especially as we face global threats like China,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.
- Senator Schmitt fought to include several key amendments that combat divisive DEI spending in the military and ensure every dollar is being spent on preparedness and lethality, including:
- An amendment that directs the GAO to fully audit DoD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) workforce and its planned expansion over the next five years to provide necessary transparency to the resources DoD is expending in pursuit of unnecessary DEI initiatives.
- An amendment that prohibits DoD from establishing new DEI administrator positions and/or filling vacancies in currently existing DEI billets.
- An amendment that requires a Secretary of Defense report detailing the total man hours and resources expended on DEI training in 2023.
- Alongside Senator Josh Hawley, Senator Schmitt fought to include an amendment to ensure victims of radiation in the St. Louis area that developed cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to Manhattan Project radiation are compensated for government negligence.
- Impacts residents near Coldwater Creek, Westlake landfill, and Jana Elementary in St. Louis and other dumpsite areas, including Weldon Spring in St. Charles County.
- Expands the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to include 20 zip codes in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.
- Those that meet the requirements are eligible for at least $50,000 or compensation for qualified medical expenses. Beneficiaries of individuals that met the compensation requirements but are deceased are eligible for $25,000.
- The FY 2024 NDAA also included funding for Missouri’s critical military installations, including:
- Whiteman Air Force Base: $87,623,000 for B-2 operations.
- Fort Leonard Wood: $50,000,000 for family housing.
- National Nuclear Security Administration Kansas City National Security Campus: $3,097,167,000 in stockpile major modernization.
- Boeing in St. Louis: $100,006,000 in funding for F-15 Strike Eagle purchases and $1.2 Billion for MQ-25 Stingray. Affirmed Congressional intent for the Secretary of the Navy to quickly procure the twenty F/A-18 Super Hornets for which funds have already been appropriated.
- MO Army National Guard: $28,000,000 for National Guard Readiness Center at Belle Fontaine
- Rosecrans ANG Base: $2,000,000 in funding for an Entry Control Point and $2,000,000 in funding for the 139th Airlift Wing Entry Point.
- Additionally, Senator Schmitt was able to include an amendment requiring a DoD CIO report that will provide more information about how DoD protects its unclassified email network, as well as other Department information systems. This information will be critical to informing Congress about policy decisions it can exercise to protect sensitive information from cyberattacks waged by the People’s Republic of China and other adversaries.
- This report will focus on the effects of consolidation of cybersecurity services procurement on the innovation and competition landscape in the defense cybersecurity industry.
- DoD used a work-around to provide Microsoft with a DoD-wide contract that essentially gives Microsoft a monopoly on cybersecurity software.
- This amendment requires DoD to provide an explanation on the impacts this decision will have on competition and innovation among other cybersecurity companies who previously provided the services to DoD.
- This report also requires the Department of Defense to talk about the risks associated with awarding a cybersecurity contract to one company, which is expected to provide DoD-wide protection.
- Senator Schmitt recently introduced a bipartisan bill, the Military Spouse Career Support Act of 2023, which increases job flexibility for military spouses during relocations. Language from this bill was included in the Senate Armed Service Committee’s bill for this year’s NDAA.
- Read about it here.
- Senator Schmitt was proud to vote in favor of adding other amendments to the Senate’s version of the FY2024 NDAA, including:
- An amendment sponsored by Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) banning foreign adversaries from purchasing American farmland and agricultural businesses.
- An amendment sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) prohibiting the sale of Strategic Petroleum Reserve crude oil to China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.