AFA Government Relations Update

The FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) House-Senate Conference is essentially complete, with the main remaining issue on how to reconcile the differences between the topline funding of each chamber’s version, as the House increased the defense budget by $18 billion, while the Senate stayed within the submitted president’s budget.  The chairmen and ranking members of both chambers met last week to resolve differences and finish the bill and should be released this week so Congress can pass the authorization bill and get it to the White House.   

There is a rift between the camps on how to approach the spending bills prior to the continuing resolution (CR) expiring on Dec. 9. There is a faction who want to reach a compromise and pass full appropriations before Dec. 9, and there are others who want to extend the CR into the next administration.  The new administration will likely be consulted for their views, but until a Secretary of Defense is nominated don’t expect to hear much from the defense perspective.

The resolution should come just before Dec. 9, and then Congress will recess for the holidays.  Don’t expect much else to happen prior to the inauguration, besides some internal reshuffling in both chambers (committee assignments, new chairmen assigned, etc.) as the 115th Congress is gaveled in on Jan. 3, 2017.