House Armed Services Committee passes defense bill in lopsided vote

By Tony Bertuca / June 22, 2023 at 8:03 AM

The House Armed Services Committee voted 58-1 to advance its version of the fiscal year 2024 defense authorization bill last night, signaling strong bipartisan support for the annual, must-pass legislation.

The only member of the committee who voted against the bill was Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA).

Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) said he is “incredibly proud of the bipartisan work” in the bill.

“This year’s [bill] includes provisions that counter China’s aggression, boost oversight of the Department of Defense, and support our servicemembers and their families,” he said. “Additionally, this year’s bill saves taxpayers billions of dollars while still making critical investments in innovative technologies and our defense industrial base.”

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the committee’s ranking member, said he supported the bill “in the spirit of compromise.”

“I am not supportive of everything in this bill,” he said. “However, I continue to be grateful for my colleagues from across the aisle who share the same desire to ensure those who serve and their families -- the people who are the heart of our national defense -- get the resources and respect they need and deserve. That includes provisions to strengthen the DOD civilian workforce, better support military spouses and military families, and a 5.2% pay raise for service members.”

The bill, which authorizes $886 billion in total national defense spending, now moves to the full House for consideration with a vote likely in the coming weeks.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, meanwhile, continues to debate its version of the bill but is scheduled to complete the process some time before Friday.

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