Sen. Rick Scott Secures Big Wins for Florida with Passage of National Defense Authorization Act

December 14, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), and ranking member of the SASC Personnel Subcommittee, released the following statement following the final passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 24 NDAA) by both the House and Senate. Each year, Senator Scott has fought as a member of the SASC to secure provisions in the NDAA that bolster Florida’s military installations, support U.S. service members, veterans and their families and protect America’s national security. The U.S. military is incredibly important to Florida, which is home to 21 military bases and three unified combatant commands, nearly 64,000 active duty members, 38,000 reservists and more than 1.5 million veterans. This year’s wins include a 5.2% pay raise for service members and the approval of Senator Scott’s legislation to ban federal agencies from purchasing drones made in Communist China – which have proven to present a grave threat to U.S. national security.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Florida is home to thousands of brave men and women who wake up every day and put on the uniform, and it is my goal to ensure Washington works for them. I am very proud of the progress we made in this year’s NDAA, the much-deserved 5.2% pay raise we secured for our men and women in uniform, and the big wins we got for Florida and U.S. national security. America and Americans just got more secure thanks to the inclusion of my American Security Drone Act to block drones made in and by companies controlled by Communist China from being used by federal agencies. Getting this bill passed in this year’s NDAA is a massive win for our national security and the safety of Florida families. Communist China has been known to spy on us, using companies like drone maker DJI, who are obligated by law to report back to the evil regime, to carry out its information collection missions. Thanks to the passage of my American Security Drone Act the U.S. will now no longer spend taxpayer dollars to let Communist China spy on us through their drones. We must always keep in mind that we are facing threats from adversaries like Communist China, Iran and Russia, who are building up their militaries to defeat us. We have to keep investing in our armed forces and prioritizing policies that make us the most lethal, not woke, force on the planet. I’ve also been clear that we must both protect our country from terror threats and protect Americans from warrantless spying by the FBI. During this NDAA process, I was proud to support Senator Rand Paul’s vote to remove the extension of FISA Section 702 from this bill. While our effort was not successful, I am fully committed to ensuring major changes to 702 happen when we return next year to prevent the FBI from spying on Americans.”


Some of Senator Scott’s sponsored amendments were included in the FY24 NDAA:

  • The American Security Drone Act of 2023 would ban federal agencies from buying and operating Chinese-made drones;
  • Provisions from the FINISH IT Act to end wasteful storage of border wall construction materials and prioritize their use at ports of entry and construction projects aiming to end drug and human trafficking at the border; and
  • Putting pressure on the Biden administration’s regulatory overreach to end their Rice’s Whale Rule, which would implement an 11.5 MPH speed limit and prohibit nighttime sailing in the Gulf


The FY 2024 NDAA also includes several other measures fought for and secured by Senator Scott:

  • A 5.2% pay raise for our brave service members;
  • $886.3 billion in national defense spending;
  • More than $598.6 million in funding for construction projects, childcare, and training facilities on Florida’s military bases, including:
    • Naval Air Station Whiting Field Advanced Helicopter Training System Hangar;
    • MacDill Air Force Base KC-46A ADAL Aircraft Corrosion Control; KC-46A ADAL Aircraft Maintenance Hangar; KC-46A Apron & Hydrant Fueling Pits; KC-46A ADAL Fuel System Maintenance Dock;
    • Patrick Space Force Base Commercial Vehicle Inspection; Cost to Complete: Consolidated Communications Center; Final Denial Barriers, South Gate; Natural Disaster Recovery;
    • Camp Blanding Multipurpose Machine Gun Range; Training Aids Center; Wedge Infantry Squad Battle Course;
    • Cost to complete an Army Reserve Center at Perrine; and
    • Jacksonville International Airport F-35 Munitions Storage Area;
  • Establishes new U.S. military training program with Taiwan and requires a plan to accelerate deliveries of anti-ship missiles to Taiwan;
  • Authorizes $200 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense programming, including the Iron Dome;
  • Improvement opportunities for parental input and involvement in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) programs and schools;
  • Requirements for the Pentagon to plan to counter cartels’ human and fentanyl trafficking on the border;
  • A Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Effectiveness and Impact Study that requires a briefing and report from the Department of Defense on whether the base, 90 miles from Florida where the Chinese Communist Party has established spying operations, is being used effectively to defend the national security interests of the United States from foreign governments such as China and Russia;
  • Measures to protect female athletes at U.S. Service Academies by requiring the Pentagon to explain their policies on biological males participating in women’s sports;
  • Authorizations to improve to the quality and oversight of military enlisted barracks;
  • Authorization for a pilot program to assess the effectiveness of increasing pay for employees of DOD Child Development Centers in improving the ability to recruit and retain providers to ensure service members and their families are receiving high-quality and dependable childcare;
  • Authorization for increased funding for cutting-edge technologies to improve warfighter lethality and survivability, including night vision enhancements, multi-spectral camouflage development, and Black Hawk, Apache, and Chinook helicopter performance improvements;
  • A report assessing acquisition authorities, including multi-year procurement authority, necessary to ensure the LGM-35A Sentinel program meets current timelines. The LGM-35A Sentinel program, the Fleet Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapon System, and the Hypersonic Targets and Countermeasures Program deter enemies that threaten Americans’ security and way of life;
  • Provisions to protect Homestead Air Reserve Base by encouraging the Air Force to continue the strong history of fighter and flying missions, ensuring South Florida continues to lead the way in power projection in the Western Hemisphere and keeping Floridians and Americans safe;
  • The development of new homeland air defense protocols and missile defense studies to avoid future violations of airspace following the Chinese spy balloon debacle;
  • Real-time data sharing for TRICARE Coast Guard members and beneficiaries that will enhance the ability to monitor, assess, and optimize healthcare services;
  • Ending China’s developing nation status;
  • Prohibition on use of funds for the Wuhan Institute of Virology;
  • Strategy to Achieve Critical Mineral Supply Chain Independence for the Department of Defense; and
  • Prohibition on Federal Funding for EcoHealth Alliance Inc., a company involved in the experimentation with COVID in Wuhan.