FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Set for Final Passage

F 22 Raptor iStock_000014803758_MediumProcedural action in the House and Senate on November 3 has cleared the path for final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). ¬†On October 22, the President vetoed the previously adopted NDAA, H.R. 1735 stating, “While there are provisions in this bill that I support, including the codification of key interrogation-related reforms from Executive Order 13491 and positive changes to the military retirement system, the bill would, among other things, constrain the ability of the Department of Defense to conduct multi-year defense planning and align military capabilities and force structure with our national defense strategy, impede the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and prevent the implementation of essential defense reforms.

A “new” NDAA will be offered as an amendment to S. 1356, an unrelated measure that clarifies certain provisions of the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act of 2014. The “new” NDAA is simply the previously adopted bill (H.R. 1735) with the new budget numbers that conform to H.R. 1314, the budget agreement and debt limit increase signed into law on Monday, November 2.

Also on Monday the House Rules Committee adopted a measure that would serve as a legislative vehicle for a separate NDAA to come to the floor on Thursday under suspension of the rules. Under suspension, the bill is expedited but requires a two-thirds majority for passage. No amendments are allowed.

Once the House passes the “new” NDAA the Senate must take up the measure.

Tidbit: Of interest, the required two-thirds majority vote to pass the NDAA in the US House under suspension of the rule is the same number required to override a presidential veto.

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Tim Cansler