Press Releases

Larsen Statement on House-Passed Defense Policy Bill

Larsen votes “no” on FY25 NDAA, outlines support for bipartisan path forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the below statement after voting “no” on the Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

“I opposed the NDAA because the House GOP transformed a bipartisan bill into extreme legislation that restricts access to reproductive health care and harms servicemembers,” said Larsen, who served for 22 years on the Armed Services Committee “It is my hope the final version of the bill includes bipartisan provisions to give servicemembers a raise, deliver Impact Aid to school districts that serve military communities, enable wounded servicemembers to start a family, strengthen national security and the NATO alliance, and educate servicemembers and military families on artificial intelligence.”

Several of Larsen’s priorities were included in the House-passed version of the NDAA:

A Raise for Servicemembers – The NDAA included a 19.5 percent pay raise for junior enlisted and a 4.5 percent pay raise for all other servicemembers.

Impact Aid for WA-02 School Districts – The NDAA included a total of $70 million in DoD Supplemental Impact Aid payments to school districts that serve military-connected students, including Oak Harbor School District.

Enabling Wounded Servicemembers and Veterans to Start a Family – Larsen has met with servicemembers and veterans who struggle with having children due to medical complications because of their service. Larsen supported a provision to establish a pilot initiative to cryopreserve gametes to enable servicemembers to start a family should a dramatic injury occur.

AI Literacy for Servicemembers and Military Families – Larsen is focused on ensuring servicemembers and military families have expertise in emerging technology and have a basic understanding of artificial intelligence (AI). Larsen authored provisions in the NDAA to provide an introduction on AI and machine learning (ML) in Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools, require all military branches to provide an online distance education course in AI and ML, and require all military branches to provide access to on-demand AI and emerging technology education courses.

Homeporting Frigates at Naval Station Everett – Larsen has long supported efforts to homeport more Navy and Coast Guard vessels at Naval Station Everett. Larsen included language in the NDAA in support of the Navy’s commitment to homeport 12 Constellation-class frigates and crew at Everett, which is part of the Navy’s broader mission of keeping the country safe and investing in Indo-Pacific security.

Larsen Opposed to Cluster Munitions

Larsen supported a bipartisan amendment to the defense policy bill to ban the transfer of cluster munitions to foreign nations. The amendment failed.

“I oppose cluster munitions. Cluster munitions do not always detonate when deployed, and civilians in countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have been killed and wounded long after the end of war. More than 120 countries have banned cluster bombs. The United States must do the same.”

Next Steps

The Senate will soon consider its version of the annual defense policy bill. Once the Senate passes its version of the bill, the House and Senate will work out the differences in their respective versions of the bill before returning a final bill to both chambers for consideration.