The House Armed Services Committee’s initial draft for the National Defense Authorization Act is out. While the bill currently includes some high-profile programs, it has some notable omissions. The lack of any plan for a Space Force and cuts to AI initiatives might mean a long congressional battle to include them in the final bill. Susanna Blume, senior fellow and deputy director of the defense program at CNAS, says that repeating last year’s on-time defense budget is looking a little unlikely.
“It is almost too much to hope that the Defense Department will get a budget on-time like they did last year. Let’s hope Congress and the White House together will get in on that record because the instability in the process has done extraordinary harm to the safety of the nation.” Blume said. “Beyond that, I think the Senate Armed Services Committee’s proposed investments in things like DIU, artificial intelligence. HACD cut a lot of funding in those areas such as the joint artificial intelligence center in DoD, a pretty significant cut to next generation air dominance as well as missile defense. In the conference process, I would really like to see the position that the Senate Armed Services Committee is occupying prevail in some of those issues.”