By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Dec. 14, 2023) -- Both the House and Senate have passed the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, which is expected to be signed by the president. Among other things, the bill authorizes a pay raise for both service members and civilian defense employees.
"This important legislation not only authorizes a 5.2% pay increase for service members and civilian employees ... but directly invests in America's national security and military power projection to meet the challenges of the 21st century," said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder during a briefing today.
The most recent National Defense Authorization Act supports $841.4 billion in funding for the Defense Department.
Included in the bill are provisions related to service members and their families. For instance, the bill increases family separation allowance to $400 per month.
Also included is language that excludes basic allowance for housing from the calculation of gross household income used to determine eligibility for the Basic Needs Allowance. That allowance is provided to service members with dependents who have a gross household income less than or equal to 150% of the federal poverty guidelines.
The FY24 NDAA also authorizes the Navy to enter into multiyear procurement contracts for up to 13 Virginia class submarines and authorizes the department to enter into multiyear procurement contracts for rare earth elements. Rare earth elements are used to manufacture the permanent magnets used in major U.S. military weapons systems and in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries.
While Ryder said the department applauds passage of the FY24 NDAA, it also urges congress to pass its supplemental budget request as well, which funds continued support to American partner nations and funds needed investments in the U.S. defense industrial base.