Sen. Rick Scott Secures Big Wins for Florida in National Defense Authorization Act

July 31, 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 Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (FY 24 NDAA) last week. 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. This year’s wins include a 5.2% pay raise for service members. 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.


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 and the big wins we got for Florida, which means big wins for our national security. I am pleased to share that my initiative to block Chinese drones, used as spyware by the Chinese Communist Party, from being purchased by federal agencies was included in this year’s package. Importantly, the legislation we passed in the Senate provides for a 5.2% raise for our service members. I look forward to this legislation heading over for consideration in the House and becoming law.”


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;
  •  Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act which would require the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks, as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border. Also requires the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years. 
  • Secure Adjacent Federal Property Act which would secure the areas surrounding highly-sensitive buildings by assessing the occupancy of nearby buildings and leasing space to completely secure the area if necessary.


As passed by the Senate, FY 2024 NDAA includes several other measures fought for and secured by Senator Scott:

  • An assessment of the Biden administration’s NOAA Rice’s Whale Rule, which would implement an 11.5 MPH speed limit and prohibit nighttime sailing in the Gulf, to ensure bureaucracy and red tape do not negatively impact Florida’s robust commerce and shipping industry as well as military preparedness;
  • Improves opportunities for parent input and involvement in Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) programs and schools;
  • A 5.2% pay raise for our brave service members;
  • Protecting Homestead Air Reserve Base by encouraging the Air Force to continue strong history of fighter and flying missions to ensure South Florida continues to lead the way in power projection in the Western Hemisphere and keeping Floridians and Americans safe;
  • 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.
  • Improvements at Florida bases, including but not limited to:
    • Patrick Space Force Base: C2C Consolidated Communications Center, Commercial Vehicle Inspection, South Gate Final Denial Barriers
    • MacDill Air Force Base: KC-46A ADAL Aircraft Corrosion Control, Aircraft Maintenance, Hangar, Apron & Hydrant Fueling Pits, Fuel Systems Maintenance Docks
    • Camp Blanding: Multipurpose Machine Gun Range
    • Naval Air Station Whiting Field: AHTS Hangar
    • Tyndall Air Force Base: Natural Disaster Recovery
    • Funding to complete Army Reserve Center in Perrine
  • Works 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;
  • Authorizing improvements to the quality and oversight of military enlisted barracks;
  • Requires 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;
  • Authorizes military dependents to receive space available dental care at military dental treatment facilities at certain remote or isolated locations;
  • Authorizing 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;
  • Authorizes increased funding for the LGM-35A Sentinel program, the Fleet Ballistic Missile Strategic Weapon System, and the Hypersonic Targets and Countermeasures Program to deter enemies that threaten Americans’ security and way of life; and
  • Requires engagement with appropriate officials of Taiwan for the purpose of expanding cooperation on military cybersecurity activities.