House committee passes defense policy bill in heavy bipartisan vote

By Tony Bertuca / May 22, 2024 at 10:45 PM

The House Armed Services Committee has passed its version of the fiscal year defense authorization bill by a vote of 57-1.

Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) released a statement applauding the bill’s bipartisan passage, highlighting new “quality of life” measures for U.S. servicemembers.

“Strengthening our military and investing in our defense is how we send our adversaries a message that we will not be intimidated,” he said. “The most important investment we can make is in the foundation of our military: our people. No servicemember should have to worry about making ends meet, putting food on the table or having safe housing. The FY-25 [National Defense Authorization Act] will boost compensation, improve housing, expand access to medical care, increase access to childcare and provide support for the spouses of servicemembers. To strengthen our defense, the FY-25 [defense authorization bill] will support the continued modernization of our nuclear deterrent, invest in our naval fleet, boost innovation and revitalize our defense industrial base to ensure our warfighters have the capabilities they need to win on future battlefields.”

The only committee member to vote against the $895 billion authorization bill was Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who released a statement saying he voted against the it because he would rather spend federal money elsewhere, but noted he was able to secure various protections for U.S. servicemembers in the legislation, including a provision related to traumatic brain injuries.

“I was the lone no vote on the [defense policy bill] out of the House Armed Services Committee because I believe we should use this money to invest in a modern national security strategy that will actually keep us safe and domestic priorities instead of further enriching defense contractors,” he said.

The bill will now advance to the House floor for amendments.

Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to take up its version of the bill on June 12.