Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is a piece of legislation that Congress approves every year to alter the organization and operating procedures of the US defense agencies as well as to set guidelines for the use of military funding.

Congress can establish parameters for defense policy through the NDAA, a yearly measure. Congress utilizes the NDAA to set defense priorities, reorganize military departments, and give instructions on how cash should be spent, even though financing for the United States military must be authorized through appropriations acts.

The legislation not only covers projects operated by the Department of Defense but also those related to the military that is carried out by other organizations, such as the nuclear weapons programs of the Department of Energy and the counterintelligence operations of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The NDAA has been approved for 60 consecutive years, a rather uncommon instance of bipartisanship in Congress.

Because of its regularity, the bill has become a preferred vehicle for attaching legislation that has minimal to do with defense. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act was approved by the House on July 14 by a vote of 329 to 101. Compared to the administration’s request, the bill’s $839 billion authorization for military spending represents an increase of $37 billion.

Later this year, a House-Senate conference will be held to reconcile the NDAA’s House and Senate versions. A vote on the NDAA has not yet been scheduled in the Senate.

The House Armed Services Committee’s modifications to the legislation, which were adopted on June 23, include various space-related provisions. These revisions include increases in money for space launches as well as demands that the Pentagon establish a “tactically responsive space” program with a focus on quick launches of tiny satellites.

In order to improve space domain awareness (SDA), communications, and debris removal, the DoD is urged by the NDAA to adopt commercial space services. Additionally, the measure creates the Space National Guard, which the Biden administration vehemently opposes.

The White House stated that “we continue to firmly oppose the development of a Space National Guard” in a message of administration policy dated July 12. The administration is in favor of personnel changes that “enable part-time Space Force duty without necessitating the added overhead of a distinct component.” The White House ‘urges the Congress not to establish a new, potentially expensive bureaucracy with far-reaching and lasting repercussions.’

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