Key Middle East Provisions Under Consideration in the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act

As Congress returns to Washington, D.C. after a long August recess, negotiations between the Senate and House of Representatives on the final contours of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) are set to begin in earnest. This follows House approval of its version of the NDAA after robust debate on July 14 and passage of the Senate NDAA on July 27. While the NDAA must pass Congress before the end of the year, hundreds of significant differences will first need to be resolved between the two bills, including ironing out details on key provisions related to the U.S.-Israel bilateral security relationship. It is vital that the House and Senate work diligently to adjudicate differences and pass this year’s NDAA on time for a 63rd consecutive year.

A number of measures to strengthen U.S. security in the Middle East are under consideration in either both, just the Senate, or just the House versions of this year’s NDAA, including three major provisions inspired by JINSA research:

The “Expediting Israeli Aerial Refueling Act of 2023,” in both bills requires the Department of Defense to expedite delivery of KC-46A aerial refueling tankers to Israel;

The “Ensuring Peace Through Strength in Israel Act,” versions of which appear in both bills, requires a Department of Defense (DoD) assessment of the type and quantity of precision-guided munitions in the U.S. War Reserve Stockpile in Israel (WRSA-I) necessary for Israel to protect itself; and

The “Maritime Architecture and Response to International Terrorism In the Middle East Act of 2023” or “MARITIME Act of 2023” in the Senate NDAA requires the Secretary of Defense to develop a strategy with America’s Middle East partners to counter growing maritime threats posed by Iran.

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Matt Kenney- Vice President, Government Affairs