Senate to Consider NDAA Plus-Up
The full Senate will kick off debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (S.2943) this week, looking to make up time after Democratic objections blocked consideration prior to Memorial Day. It remains unclear how long the legislation will be on the floor. According to this fantastic amendment tracker put together by the Heritage Foundation’s Justin Johnson, 309 amendments have already been filed. While votes will not occur on all of these, there will undoubtedly be plenty of contentious debate over various parts of the bill. Of particular interest will be an amendment by SASC Chairman John McCain that increases the topline level of the bill by $18 billion to match the House NDAA. This has prompted opposition from Democratic leadership, but it may yet receive the 60 votes necessary for passage. Other interesting amendments include an amendment (also by Sen. McCain) aimed at making life more difficult for the United Launch Alliance, an amendment aimed at removing language in the bill creating a pilot program privatizing commissaries, and various attempts to circumscribe presidential authority (pay raises, transfer of Gitmo detainees, etc.). There’s no clear deadline at the moment, but given the limited time remaining for Congress (the House is in session for only four more weeks after this one), it’s likely that Senate leadership will want to move forward on the bill as fast as possible.
While the NDAA is debated on the floor, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up their version of the defense legislation prior to the Memorial Day recess. The committee’s numbers appear to be roughly aligned with the increase in spending found in the House legislation. The Committee’s summary is available here and the full Committee Report here.
While the Senate works through defense issues, the House will be working to finally pass legislation addressing Puerto Rico’s debt crisis as well as making another attempt at moving the appropriations process forward after the failure of Energy & Water appropriations before the break.
Congressional Defense Activity
- SASC – No hearings scheduled
- HASC – 6/9 Stopping the Money Flow: The War on Terror Finance, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities joint hearing with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade 2pm, 2118 Rayburn
- HAC-D – No hearings scheduled
- SAC-D – No hearings scheduled
Government Activity Round-up
Nothing really new to report from GAO, but they did release a piece reviewing some of the (many) obstacles making DoD unauditable (inauditable). More details available here.
Still no new defense-related reports from the Congressional Budget Office, so here is its score for HASC’s NDAA. Given that it is an authorization rather than an appropriation, this is less important overall, but the bill comes in as net deficit reduction (saves $206 million over ten years).
Other DC/Defense Activity
Lots of interesting Avascent material in the past couple of weeks. First, Doug Berenson & Daniel Yoon have put together a comprehensive look at the ‘Dynamics of International Military Modernization 2016’ that is available for download here. Plus you can check out Doug talking about the paper with Defense News’ Aaron Mehta here. In addition, Alek Jovovic and Jon Barney have published their ‘Survey of Defense Offsets, Global Partnerships, and Industrial Cooperation: Rising Awareness, Enduring Challenges and 7 Key Steps for Success’, which can be downloaded here. Lastly, Chris Conrad and Matt Vallone have put together a paper looking at challenges facing the U.S. Navy’s shipbuilding plan, which can be found here. For additional information and insights, check out our publications listings here.
In addition to all of our publishing, we’ll be hosting a booth at Eurosatory next week! We’ll be holding weekly sessions looking at different topics in aerospace and defense through the lenses of our data. If you’re visiting the convention feel free to stop by!
Lots of interesting stuff going on this week in DC as well. On Monday, the Atlantic Council hosted a conference titled ‘Sustaining NATO’s Strength and Deterrence’ featuring General Ben Hodges, Commanding General for the U.S. Army in Europe and a number of other notable individuals. On Tuesday, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group will host an event on ‘The Future of the EU and Transatlantic Relations’ featuring the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. On Wednesday, another Atlantic Council event of interest is ‘Thriving in the Evolving Space Sector’ where Richard Ambrose of Lockheed Martin will make some prepared remarks and take questions. On Thursday, Route Fifty, the Atlantic Media’s state government focused organization Route Fifty is hosting an event looking at ‘Designing Strong Cyber Defenses for State and Local Governments’.