CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement after the Senate voted to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes an authorization of more than $886 billion for national defense:
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“Today, the Senate passed the NDAA as a strong, bipartisan show of support for our national defense and for the commitment of our men and women in uniform. I’m pleased to see the inclusion of significant investments in Illinois, as well as in the service members stationed at the state’s military installations.
“While I am frustrated that the bill continues restrictions on closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, this version of the NDAA contains many important provisions—including funding to support Ukraine and to modernize our military installations—and rejects the poison pills included in the House version.”
Durbin-led measures included in the FY24 NDAA are:
- Ukraine. The bill retains Durbin’s provision from the FY23 NDAA that prohibits the use of U.S. government funding for the recognition of any sovereign Ukrainian territory forcibly seized by Russia. It also authorizes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative for FY24 while also authorizing the program through FY27. Additionally, the bill enhances procurement authorities in order to allow the Pentagon to replenish defense stocks related to Ukraine.
- Baltic Security Initiative. The bill requires reports on sustained security assistance for the Baltics, per Durbin’s Baltic Security Initiative (BSI) effort, and includes report language in support of the Baltics.
- Military Construction Projects in Illinois. The bill includes an authorization of $24 million in military construction funds for the Army National Guard’s Armory in North Riverside, Illinois, and $5.25 million in military construction funds to complete the Army National Guard’s Vehicle Maintenance Shop in North Bloomington, Illinois.
- Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghans. The bill includes report language supporting an extension of the Afghan SIV program and continued Afghan resettlement.
- Impact Aid. The bill includes $80 million in topline Impact Aid program funding, helping school districts across the country that support military families.
- Army Sustainment Command. The bill includes report language in support of Army Sustainment Command, which is based at Rock Island Arsenal, and its efforts to provide logistics support to the Army in Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific, and beyond.
- MxD in Chicago. The bill includes report language supporting the designation of the Department’s digital manufacturing institute, MxD in Chicago, as a Digital Manufacturing Modernization Accelerator.
- AUKUS. The bill expands the definition of “domestic sourcing” under the Defense Production Act for critical minerals projects in support of President Biden’s trilateral security pact, AUKUS.
- Increasing U.S. Exports to Africa and Latin America. The bill also includes Durbin-led, bipartisan legislation to improve America’s competiveness throughout the African continent and in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Increasing American Jobs through Greater Exports to Africa Act will force better coordination between U.S. government agencies and departments, establish comprehensive strategic goals, and marshal private investments to improve U.S. exports to Africa. The legislation also focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean and will help create American jobs by requiring a whole-of-government strategy to increase the number of U.S. exports to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean by at least 200 percent in real dollar value within ten years of enactment of the law.
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