Fighting back against a toxic and divisive DEI agenda in the military, delivering funding for Missouri military installations, and ensuring the armed forces remain focused on confronting global threats were Senator Schmitt’s top priorities in this year’s NDAA.
WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Eric Schmitt released a statement following the final passage of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act:
“Combatting Joe Biden’s divisive DEI agenda in the military, refocusing our military on lethality and preparedness to confront threats like China, and providing much-needed resources for Missouri military installations were my top objectives heading into this year’s NDAA, and my amendments that made it into the final bill do exactly that. Additionally, critical resources will be allocated to Missouri military bases – bases that are crucial to the defense and preparedness of the United States, including key parts of our nuclear triad. I’m proud to have fought to return the military back to the greatest meritocracy in the world, improve quality of life for our active duty servicemembers, harden our cyber defenses, and protect freedom of speech in this year’s NDAA,” said Senator Eric Schmitt.
As a freshman Senator, Senator Schmitt was able to secure multiple amendments aimed at confronting Joe Biden’s divisive DEI politics in the military,hardening our cyber defenses, protecting freedom of speech, and providing quality of life improvements for servicemembers and their families:
Resources Going to Missouri in FY24 NDAA:
- Over $4.4 billion to Boeing Systems including $2.935 billion for F-15 programs, $384.7 million for MQ-25 procurement, $763.3 million for F/A-18 procurement and modifications, and more to support Missouri’s defense industry.
- $121.4 million for B-2 operations and support at Whiteman Airforce Base.
- $50 million for housing at Fort Leonard Wood.
- $28 million for the National Guard Readiness Center in Bellefontaine, Missouri.
- $2 million for Rosecrans Air National Guard Base.
- Billions toward B-21 Raider procurement and operations, which will benefit Missouri as many of these aircraft will be stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base.
- Billions toward Nuclear Weapon Activities, which will benefit Missouri as a share of these funds will be allocated to Kansas City National Nuclear Security Campus.
Senator Schmitt’s amendments included in the final passage include:
- Online Education Services Contracts
- Requires a briefing from Sec. of Defense on the process used to reduce the risk of foreign influence in online tutoring and educational services.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Personnel Grade Cap
- Limits nearly 40 positions whose primary duties are related to DEI to GS-10 ($71,531 – $90,610).
- Briefing on Commercial Tools Employed by the DoD to Assess Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence
- Requires a report to the Congressional defense committees on countering industrial espionage, with a focus on commercial and organically developed tools employed by the department of defense in assessing and mitigating threats associated with foreign ownership, control, or influence within the defense industrial base.
- Report on Department of Defense Enterprise capabilities for cybersecurity
- Requires a DoD CIO report on the decision to exercise contract options to add cybersecurity software from a single vendor (Microsoft) to protect the networks and systems of the defense enterprise.
- This is in response to the DoD using a work-around to provide Microsoft with a DoD-wide contract giving the company essentially a monopoly, and then the subsequent hack of State Department email servers by a Chinese-backed hacking group.
- Design standards for covered military unaccompanied housing
- Establishes uniform standards for floor space, number of occupants allowed, and habitability conditions for unaccompanied housing across all services.
- Limit on Funds to Relocate Army CID Special Agent Training Course
- Requires the Secretary of Army to provide a comprehensive plan and justification to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees before relocating the Army’s Criminal Investigative Division’s (CID) Special Agent Training Course which resides at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
- Limitation on establishment of new DEI positions; hiring freezes
- Directs GAO to conduct an audit on DoD’s DEI workforce and its planned expansion over the next five years.
- This provision also prohibits DoD from establishing new DEI administrator positions and taking new actions to fill vacancies in currently existing DEI billet until the GAO audit is complete.
- Military Spouse Career Support Act of 2023
- This measure expands eligibility for reimbursements for military families’ business expenses when transitioning off of Active Duty and into Reserve Component assignments—with the goal of further incentivizing continued service in National Guard and Reserve formations.
- Certification Requirement Regarding Contracting for Military Recruiting
- Requires that contractors who place advertisements for the purposes of military recruiting certify that they do not place advertisements in news sources based on personal or institutional political preferences or biases, or determination of misinformation.
- Also requires the Sec. of Defense to notify Congressional defense committees if DoD contracts with NewsGuard, GDI, or any similar entity.