The NDAA Officially Signed
Last Wednesday, as most had left town for the Thanksgiving weekend, President Obama signed the $607 billion NDAA into law. Some highlights:
The original bill was vetoed because of $38 billion OCO spending exclusively to defense
New bill, derived from the most recent bipartisan agreement, increases defense and non-defense base budgets and OCO spending through FY17
FY 16 result is $5 billion short of President Obama’s original request ($607B vs. $612B)
Restrictions on moving detainees from Guantanamo included in NDAA will make Obama’s pledge to close the prison by the end of his term unlikely
FY17 topline will reduce by $14B and lift the sequester caps for FY17
Armed Services Committee leadership in both chambers has already suggested that number may warrant further review next year. This week OSD Comptroller, Mike McCord suggested the $14B decrease would require a slowing of modernization efforts. This appears to be initial posturing that should trigger industry to engage with Congress.
Update on Cyber
The Cyber Information Sharing Act bill passed in the Senate at the end of October is currently in conference with two companion bills passed by the House back in April.
The proposed cyber legislation is the most significant cyber reform proposed in years, and would extensively expand DHS capacity to access information and data from private corporations. Civil liberties protesters and tech companies, now joined by the ACLU, have been attempting to derail the bill on the grounds that it will violate individual rights to privacy. In the wake of the ISIS attacks in Paris and continued concerns over Chinese hacking of private businesses, concern surrounding cyber policy is mounting.
Highway Bill Passed (with Ex-Im!)
Today, the House and Senate released the highway funding bill from conference officially titled the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill originally projected to extend funding for six years has been shortened to five years as a cost cutting measure. But, this is still the first multi-year highway legislation passed in years, allocating approximately $205 billion to highways and $48 billion to transit improvement projects. Included in the passage of the FAST bill is the re-authorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Omnibus Bill Approaching…
The deadline for Congress to extend government funding and prevent a shutdown is fast-approaching on Dec. 11. Already there is talk of the potential need for a short CR extension while final negotiations are hammered out. Stay tuned to Quick Hits as the story unfolds.