Illinois Congresswoman Bustos Helps Pass Annual Defense Bill Supporting Service Members
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, helped pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to strengthen U.S. national security. The package will develop new technologies, improve coordination between America’s global network of allies and partners and support our country’s democratic values and the servicemembers and families who form the foundation for America’s defense.
The 2023 NDAA also includes a provision in which Congress formally recognizes the contributions of women who served in the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II. The provision acknowledges that these women honorably stepped up for their country during its time of need, significantly contributing to the war effort and the safety and security of the nation. Bustos has introduced bipartisan legislation to give Cadet Nurses honorary veteran status.
“Democracies around the world are facing challenges we haven’t seen for generations – and the United States must continue to meet the moment,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Today, I voted to pass this year’s National Defense Authorization Act to invest in American defense alliances and partnerships and deliver a much-deserved pay raise to those who serve and defend our country in uniform.”
The FY23 NDAA promotes resilience and innovation and provides tools for U.S. success in strategic competition and vital quality of life improvements for the backbone of America’s fighting force: service members and their families. This NDAA contains historic changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and promotes a more diverse and inclusive military. The full package includes provisions that:
- Key pay increases for servicemembers and their families, including a 4.6% pay raise for service members and civilian personnel, 2.4% inflation bonuses for service members earning less than $45,000/year and a $15/hour minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts.
- Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions, allocating over $111 million for research activities at HBCUs and establishing a pilot program to increase research capacity at minority-serving institutions.
- Civilian harm mitigation measures, reflecting the democratic values of the United States as a strategic and moral imperative by creating a Department of Defense (DOD) Center for Excellence in Civilian Harm Mitigation.
- New investments in science and technology competitiveness, including $275 million in additional funding for next-generation capabilities in hypersonics, electronic warfare, artificial intelligence and software.
- Supply chain security, including an assessment of dual-use technology that the Chinese Communist Party might exploit and improving risk management in DOD supply chains involving pharmaceutical products.
- Resources for U.S. allies and partners, including $1 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) and funding for the European Deterrence Initiative and Pacific Deterrence Initiative.
A summary of the provisions in the FY23 NDAA is available here.