The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA, H.R. 2810) passed the House (356-70) and Senate (by voice vote) this week. The 21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874) passed the House (237-189). Activities of the U.S. military, ranging from understanding our ocean and providing disaster relief to enforcing laws and providing medical assistance, are authorized each year by the NDAA. Many provisions relate to the safety and security of our nation and our military, making this a must-pass bill that has been passed 55 years in a row.
NDD United, which was established after the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) created caps on spending through 2021, works to ensure nondefense discretionary (NDD) federal spending is treated on par with defense spending. NDD United held a briefing “Faces of Austerity 2.0: How Budget Cuts Continue To Make Us Sicker, Poorer, And Less Secure” in conjunction with their release of a new report with the same title.
The Pentagon has released its long-anticipated report detailing plans to restructure the organizations that manage acquisition and technology research for the Department of Defense. The so-called Section 901 report, officially titled "Restructuring the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Organization and Chief Management Officer Organization," was delivered to Congress on Aug. 1.
Nothing in COL’s legislative tracker was signed into law this month, but several items did pass out of committee, the House, or the Senate. Notably, the Save Our Seas Act of 2017 (S.756) passed the Senate with unanimous consent last week. The legislation (and its counterpart in the House (H.R. 2748)) reauthorizes and amends the Marine Debris Act (P.L. 109-332) “to promote international action to reduce marine debris.”
“I'm here today fighting for this budget addition—the additional $30 billion,” declared the Honorable James Mattis (Secretary, Department of Defense (DOD)), referencing the supplemental funding request for DOD for fiscal year (FY) 2017.
In the flurry of activity surrounding the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget, it might be easy to forget that the FY 2017 appropriations have yet to be finalized. In October and then again in December, Congress went down to the wire in passing short-term continuing resolutions (CR), the latter of which funds the government through April 28 (PL 114-254). Appropriating committees are picking up where they left off last year, with the House Appropriations Committee last week introducing their newest version of the Department of Defense Appropriators Act, 2017 (H.R. 1301).
The Capitol was abuzz this week with the first nomination hearings for President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. While many of these spurred contentious debate, Ms. Elaine Chao, nominee for secretary of the Department of Transportation and cabinet veteran of both Bush administrations (deputy transportation secretary and secretary of labor), did not face significant opposition in Wednesday’s confirmation hearing with the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
One of Congress’ most reliably-passed bills, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S. 2943) sits on President Obama’s desk after passing both chambers late last week with a veto-proof majority (375-34 in the House and 92-7 in the Senate). The president issued veto threats on previous versions of the annual bill, which authorizes activities for the Department of Defense (DoD) and the national security activities of the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017; however, many provisions he objected to have been removed.
(Click to enlarge) The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017, failed a procedural vote to advance this week. (Credit: Greg Bishop/Flickr) For a third time, Senate Democrats kept the chamber from moving on the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017 (H.R. 5293). In July, efforts to move the bill to the floor stalled [...]
The first two weeks of July were especially busy on Capitol Hill as lawmakers made a final legislative push before they left for recess. Appropriations bills were high on their agenda since Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 expires at the end September, and the Senate and House are now on a seven-week hiatus until September 6.
The final effort to pass the Senate’s Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2017, S. 3000, fell short, effectively putting an end to this year’s efforts to pass individual appropriations bills. Surprisingly, the partisan split on whether or not to approve the bill, which funds defense agencies, including Navy research and development, was less about the bill itself (spending allocations were under the agreed-upon limit, and the bill passed unanimously out of committee) and wholly about distrust between parties.
At a hearing in front of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, the discussion centered not only the need to build more submarines but on the technological advances that will be required.