White House Memo on HASC FY 2025 Defense Bill

June 12, 2024 12:55 PM

The following is the June 11, 2024 White House Statement of Administration Policy on the National Defense Authorization Act
for FY 2025.

From the memorandum

The Administration strongly supports enactment of a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for a 64th consecutive year and is grateful for the strong, bipartisan work of the House Committee on Armed Services on behalf of America’s national defense. For the third year in a row, the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request for the Department of Defense (DoD) was informed by the 2022 National Defense Strategy (NDS), which calls on DoD to advance four key priorities: (1) defend the Homeland; (2) deter strategic attacks; (3) deter aggression while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary; and (4) build a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem. The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to set appropriate and responsible levels of defense and non-defense spending to support the security of the Nation, consistent with P.L. 118-5, the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Coupled with a strategically sound defense budget, a strong economy and investment in diplomacy, development, and economic statecraft are critical to ensuring that the Nation is positioned to respond to the myriad national security challenges we face today and will face in the future.

Taking care of the health, safety, and economic security of Servicemembers, their families, DoD civilian employees, and contractors is vital to ensuring a resilient and ready force. It is an Administration priority, and President Biden appreciates the bill’s support for the 4.5 percent pay raise for Servicemembers. The Administration also welcomes many of the proposed enhancements to the military justice system, and strongly supports expanding discretionary authority for special trial counsel regarding covered, known, and related offenses that occurred prior to December 28, 2023, including to account for the 2025 addition of sexual harassment as a covered offense.

In a time of rapidly evolving military capabilities and activities by our competitors – accelerated by emerging technologies and intensified by current and potential threats to strategic stability – America’s network of allies and partners continues to act as a force multiplier in support of U.S. national defense. Investments authorized in the NDAA in support of the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and the European Deterrence Initiative will help address the changing global landscape and prepare the country for future challenges and threats, alongside emerging challenges in the Middle East and on the African continent. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address our concerns, a number of which are outlined below.

Shipbuilding and Submarine Industrial Base Funding. The Administration is disappointed with the Committee’s failure to fully support the President’s shipbuilding request, authorizing $700 million less than was requested and cutting one ship. Further, the Administration strongly opposes Section 1018, which would authorize incremental funding of a second Virginia Class Submarine (VCS) in FY 2025, which industry is unable to produce on schedule. The Administration encourages Congress to fully support the near-term submarine industrial base (SIB) investments proposed in the President’s FY 2025 Budget Request. These investments are critical to shore up the SIB, reduce the backlog in attack submarine production and sustainment, and meet the 2.33 VCS production rate needed to support the Navy’s requirement and our commitment to the Australia-United Kingdom-United States security partnership (AUKUS). The authorization of incremental funding for a second VCS would result in a significant unplanned bill in FY 2026, competing for funding with additional SIB investments and Columbia Class Submarines. This will force the Navy to make reductions in other priorities to accommodate the balance of funds for the second FY 2025 VCS.

Download the document here.

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