WASHINGTON, D.C.July 14, 2023 – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after passage of H.R. 2670, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24), passed in the House of Representatives on a vote of 219-210.

“For over 60 years, the NDAA has served as the foundation for our national security priorities, fulfilling Congress’ sacred obligation to provide for the common defense of the American people. That is until today, when that proud tradition and profound duty was cast aside by extreme MAGA Republicans valuing their bigoted ideals over the needs of our national security, national defense, service members, and their families.

“The bipartisan bill that was easily passed out of committee invested in the core of our national defense: service members and their families, innovation and technology, allies and partners, and our defense industrial base and military readiness. It ensured a 5.2% pay raise for service members, strengthened the DoD civilian workforce, and better supported military spouses and military families. It addressed the pacing challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the acute threat posed by Russia, and the persistent threats posed by North Korea, Iran, and violent extremist organizations.

“The bill as amended, however, has allowed an extreme and narrow contingent to bring their culture war to what was a bipartisan process and advance an agenda rooted in racism, misogyny, bigotry, ignorance, and hatred.

“Those who have served or are serving with distinction and honor will pay the price. This bill would threaten not just their fundamental rights, but their health, well-being, and potentially their lives as well as the rights, health, and survival of their family members. This bill as amended will worsen the recruitment and retention crisis already strained by legitimate concerns among huge segments of the candidate pool about how they’ll be treated and who understandably question whether the military will give them a fair shot at service and success. It will weaken our military and our national defense.

“I and my Democratic colleagues will redouble our efforts going forward, and look forward to working with our Senate Colleagues in conference so that Congress fulfills its responsibility to the people who proudly wear the uniform, and our national defense and national security.