The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) leaders announced on Wednesday they filed their version of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), S.2792, while the House debates its version of the bill this week.
The House started debating their version of the defense authorization bill on the floor the evening of September 21. The House Armed Services Committee voted its version of the NDAA out of committee earlier this month with a 57-2 vote, after the panel approved an amendment by ranking member Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) to increase the topline by $23.9 billion (Defense Daily, Sept. 1).
The Biden administration requested a $715 billion budget topline.
Similarly, the Senate bill authorizes spending at $768 billion total for both the Department of Defense and national security programs at the Department of Energy. The DoD level is authorized up to about $740 billion, $25 billion over the administration’s request. After adding $9.9 billion in defense-related activities outside the NDAA jurisdiction, the committee recommends authorizing a total of $777.9 billion in FY ‘22.
The Senate panel voted to increase the topline to the defense policy bill in July during a closed door markup by a vote of 23-3 (Defense Daily, July 22).
“This bipartisan legislation provides our troops and Defense Department civilians with a well-deserved pay raise, as well as new tools and reforms to protect the health and well-being of our servicemen and women and their families,” SASC chairman Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said in a statement.
“It prioritizes efforts to strengthen our cyber defenses, improve readiness, and accelerate the research and development of advanced technologies,” he continued.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), committee ranking member, underscored the $25 billion boost to the request “to ensure that our troops and their families have the tools, capabilities, training and resources needed to defend our country from these very real, very serious threats.”
“While I don’t support every provision in this bill, all senators will have the opportunity to improve it through an open floor process – which I hope will begin in short order. I thank Senator Reed for his partnership and his commitment to getting this critical bill to the floor,” Inhofe added.
The Senate bill topline increase had SAC authorize funding to cover all of the items on the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps unfunded requirements lists.