The House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act focuses heavily on the Air Force. As it stands, the 2020 NDAA recommends purchasing additional F-35 and F-15EX fighter jets, and increases recruitment goals for the branch. It also doesn’t take sides on some important Air Force issues, such as the creation of a Space Force. Deborah Lee James, former Secretary of the Air Force, says that this is due to disagreements within the committee.
“It’s a reflection of collegiality and respect. That the subcommittee chairman would not wish to put something into his mark which would then put the full committee chairman in a difficult position of trying to strike it,” James said. “Rather, this way they will have a debate in the full committee. Amendments will be offered, presumably one to have the Space Force, another maybe to prohibit it and maybe a third which would be to study it further, which is the approach that the house appropriations committee took. It is a debate, there will be votes and we will see where they will come out.”