Senator Scott Secures Critical State & National Wins in Annual Defense Bill
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, issued the following statement after final adoption of the Conference Report to accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024:
“Whether it’s the border crisis here at home or our adversaries flagrantly attacking our troops and allies around the globe, we’ve witnessed first-hand the dangerous repercussions of President Biden’s weak leadership on the world stage. This year’s NDAA takes critical steps to restore American leadership, bolster our southern border, curb the influence of foreign adversaries like China and Russia and support our brave men and women in uniform and their families.
“South Carolina serves as a vital training ground for and home to so many of the selfless Americans who serve this nation. From the Low Country to the Upstate, this bill invests in South Carolina’s military facilities and supports our critical defense industry, ensuring our state continues to serve an important role in our national security at home and abroad.”
Provisions in the FY2024 NDAA championed by Senator Scott include:
- Increasing pay for service members by 5.2%;
- Combating the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on U.S. higher education by requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to report gifts and grants given to U.S. universities from entities in the Chinese military-industrial complex;
- Ending China’s unfair advantage by requiring the Department of State to oppose any effort to label China as a ‘developing nation’ at international organizations or in future treaties;
- Preventing the mismanagement of taxpayer funds by requiring the examination of U.S. diplomatic language programs to ensure foreign service officers receive the training they need to advance America’s interests around the world;
- Requiring the Department of State to explore alternative methods to fill numerous, long-standing vacancies at U.S. embassies, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa—an issue Senator Scott raised with Secretary of State Antony Blinken that hinders our ability to collaborate with African partners and counter China and Russia’s expanding influence;
- Creating a new fellowship within the Fulbright Program for the study of nonviolent civil rights movements, in honor of civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis;
- Requiring the Secretary of State to notify Congress when the security clearances of senior members of the Department of State are suspended or revoked, to prevent another security lapse like the one that occurred with the most-recent U.S. Special Envoy for Iran; and
- Historic level funding for the Department of Defense Historically Black Collegesand Universities (HBCU) and Minority Serving Institutions Program.
South Carolina specific provisions included in the FY2024 NDAA include:
- $66 million in funding to complete new barracks at Fort Jackson;
- $20 million in funding for the Aiken County National Guard Readiness Center;
- $4.37 million in funding to complete the National Guard Readiness Center at Joint Base Charleston;
- $7.9 million in funding for an automated multipurpose machine gun range at the McCrady Training Center in Columbia, South Carolina; and
- $2.7 billion in funding to support the Savannah River Site, including $1 billion for plutonium modernization activities and $1.6 billion for operations and maintenance.