Florida Republicans Divided Almost Down the Middle on Defense Bill

Florida Republicans Divided Almost Down the Middle on Defense Bill

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
December 15, 2023

Republican Representatives from Florida are almost split down the middle on the recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2024. 11 Florida Republicans voted against the bill, and nine voted for it.

The bill passed by a tally of 310-118.

Representative Cory Mills (R-FL) – an Army combat veteran and Bronze Star recipient – voted against the bill but mentioned that his vote was not against the military, but for American liberty.

“Unfortunately, what came back from the Senate weakened and eliminated many of the House-passed goals. In addition, the Senate put in an extension to the weaponized abused surveillance program (Section 702) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA),” said Rep. Mills. “As a constitutionalist, I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that imperils the constitutional rights of Americans by extending the government’s surveillance power of Americans and continuing the violations of privacy every American deserves.”

Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL) also voted against the NDAA. In the same breath as Rep. Mills, he cited the bill’s neglect of personal liberties as his rationale for the decision.

“I take seriously my Constitutional duty to provide for our common defense, but I am unable to support this year’s NDAA because I could not vote for legislation that perpetuates undermining Americans’ personal liberties and allows the DoD to continue violating federal law and use our troops to promote a far-left social agenda … Furthermore, it extends the FISA government surveillance program without any reforms. Safeguarding American citizens’ personal liberty is a priority of mine and I’ve been a consistent voice for Congress to institute strong safeguards when reauthorizing FISA,” said Rep. Webster.

However, Republicans who voted for the bill such as Representative John Rutherford (R-FL) had a more positive outlook on the bill.

“House GOP’s FY24 (Fiscal Year 2024) NDAA protects U.S. interests, bolsters our national security, & holds China accountable. I am proud to restore the focus of our military on warfighting and not on President Biden’s misguided woke policies,” said Rep. Rutherford.

Additionally, Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) pledged his support for the bill and shared his excitement that two of his proposals made the final verbiage.

“Great news! Two of my proposals just passed Congress as part of this year’s NDAA. Addressing the well-being and safety of our active-duty service members and their families is one of my top priorities,” said Rep. Buchanan.

Every single Florida Democrat in the House voted for the bill except for Representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-FL).

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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