Scott on NDAA passage

Rep. Scott had 39 amendments adopted during the HASC mark-up of the FY 23 NDAA
Austin Scott 113th Congress

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), released the below statement upon the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passing out of Committee early this morning. The NDAA sets Department of Defense (DOD) policies and authorizes funding levels for defense programs.

“After more than 15 hours and sorting through hundreds of amendments, the House Armed Services Committee passed the FY23 NDAA by a vote of 57-1. This year’s bill is certainly not perfect, but we accomplished many important goals for Georgia’s Eighth District, our entire state, and the nation. I was proud to support a bipartisan amendment to increase the defense budget by $37 billion. My colleagues and I worked bipartisanly to ensure our warfighters get the platforms and funding they need to defend our great nation. We, as a committee, must ensure our armed forces remain vigilant to provide firepower for freedom if called upon to do so.”

Rep. Scott had 39 amendments adopted during the HASC mark-up of the FY 23 NDAA. Some of the bill language provisions authored by Rep. Scott include:

Stopping the Closure of the Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah, GA: This amendment would prohibit the closure of Air Force Combat Readiness Training Centers.

Mass Timber Pilot Program: This amendment would require military departments to do a pilot program evaluating the effect the use of mass timber as the primary material in military construction has on environmental sustainability, infrastructure resilience, cost-effectiveness, and construction timeliness.

Elevation of the Position of Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau (VCNGB) from the Rank of Lieutenant General to General: This amendment would elevate the position of the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau from the present rank of Lieutenant General to the rank of General. National Guard involvement in both domestic and overseas military operations continues to increase yet the Vice Chief is the only Joint Chiefs of Staff principal deputy who is not a 4-star General or Admiral.

Enhancing the Role of Explosive Ordinance Disposal in the U.S. Military: Priorities of the Congressional EOD caucus that Rep. Scott sponsored: Added Explosive Ordnance Disposal to the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict, established a functional EOD defense program within the Department of Defense to ensure close and continuous coordination between military matters relating to EOD support for commanders of combatant commands, and designates the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency as the executive agent for explosive ordnance intelligence.

Gathering Military Trauma Care Lessons Learned from Ukraine: This amendment would establish a new partnership program between the United States and Ukraine for military trauma care and research.

Celebrating the 250th Birthday of the United States of America: Expresses a Sense of Congress that the United States Navy should conduct an International Naval Review on July 4, 2026.

Naming Warships After Medal of Honor Recipients: Sense of Congress amendment that the Secretary of the Navy should name warships after the 36 deceased Navy recipients of the Medal of Honor from WWI to the present, who have not had a vessel named in their honor.

Stopping the Desecration of War Graves: This amendment would allow service secretaries to withhold information about the location of Sunken Military ships and aircraft from public disclosure. Scrappers are filing FOIA requests to get the locations of sunken ships in order to remove the steel for its scrap value illegally.

Sense of the Congress on Inviting Taiwan to the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2024 Exercise: RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise. Taiwan’s Navy should be invited to enhance its cooperation with the United States Navy and other partner navies in the region.

The legislation also included Directive Report Language (DRL), which is a special category of “Items of Special Interest” that are included in the bill. The DOD recognizes that while DRL is not bill language, it carries similar weight. Some of the DRL provisions authored by Rep. Scott include:

Full and Part-Tie Pay Status of Members: This DRL directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by July 1, 2023, on the feasibility of allowing military members to transition multiple times throughout the course of a career between full and part-time pay status.

Expanding Tricare to Dual-Status Reserve Technicians: This DRL directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by July 1, 2023, on the feasibility of expanding TriCare and military healthcare benefits to dual-status reserve technicians across the services.

Streamlining the Military Travel Reimbursement Process:  This DRL directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by July 1, 2023, on the current status of the military travel voucher program is possible to streamline this process to reimburse military members for travel.

Expediting the Civilian Hiring Process at DOD: Would direct the Secretary of Defense to submit a briefing on the current state of filling civilian vacancies at Department of Defense installations and an analysis of measures that can be taken to expedite the hiring process.

Potential National Guard War College: This DRL directs the Secretary of Defense to provide a briefing to the House Committee on Armed Services by March 1, 2023, on the feasibility of establishing a National Guard War College.