GREAT FALLS — A bipartisan effort in Congress this week sent the National Defense and Authorization Act to President Biden's desk.
The $841.4 billion bill encompasses national defense and critical funding for the Montana Air National Guard and Malmstrom Air Force Base; click here for a summary of the NDAA.
"It's critical bill for securing our nation, continue to support our men and women who wear the uniform. Very important pay raise for the men and women who serve our country. Also important infrastructure funding for Great Falls," explained U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).
“Defending Montana and our national security is my top priority, and delivering a strong bipartisan national defense bill will help provide our men and women in uniform with the tools they need to keep our country safe,” said Jon Tester (D-MT). “From supporting our airmen and women at Malmstrom, to countering the pacing threat of China and combating the deadly flow of fentanyl, this bill will help tackle some of the greatest threats facing our nation. And I’m proud to have helped secure the largest pay raise for our troops in the last two decades because they put their lives on the line to keep America the greatest country in the world.”
The NDAA passed through both the House and Senate pushing a 5.2% pay increase to American Troops in the Fiscal Year 2024. In that, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls will receive $10 million for a Fire Station Bay Construction project. While the Montana Air National Guard will receive $30 million for fueling infrastructure to accommodate new C-130J aircraft. Also, an undisclosed amount of funding allotted to the 150 Malmstrom AFB missile silo program.
"One of my favorite challenge coins I have is from the missile wing there in Great Falls. It says, Scaring the hell out of America's enemies since 1962. I couldn't be prouder of the mission there at Malmstrom, what it does to secure our nation to help keep the world safer because of strength."
With bipartisan support in the House and Senate, bipartisan support was not found from all of Montana's Congressional delegation. U.S. Representative Matt Rosendale (R-MT) posted on X on Thursday his opposition to what he called the "D.C. Cartel's Woke NDAA."
Any Member of Congress who votes in favor of the D.C. Cartel's Woke NDAA is voting to:— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) December 14, 2023
❌Allow the U.S. govt to spy on you.
❌Fund taxpayer funded gender reassignment surgeries.
❌ Allow the U.S. military to pick you up and lock you up in Guantanamo Bay without…
Daines reiterated that the NDAA needed to be passed to send critical funding to military operations in Montana. Daines also expressed that the NDAA needs revisions and in the current piece of legislations some precisions inside it prevent "woke" culture in the military, boosting morale.