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Lauren Williams, Staff Writer at FCW, and Scott Maucione, Defense Reporter at Federal News Network, examine the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act and differences between the two

The top line authorization for the House’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act bill is $731.6 billion, and the top line authorization for the Senate’s version is $741 billion.

Lauren Williams, Staff Writer at FCW, cites provisions related to the Chief Management Officer position as some of the areas where the House and Senate versions of the NDAA differ the most. The House is proposing to eliminate the position, while the Senate is proposing to change it. Scott Maucione, Defense Reporter at Federal News Network, says that one of the biggest differences between the two versions is how they will handle bases with Confederate officials. The House wants to get rid of them and possibly hold back funding if the DoD does not address the issue, and the Senate has a more conservative stance.

Williams noticed that “acquisition definitely seemed to take a back seat, I think, this year compared to previous years” and that social justice reform is more on the floor. Maucione agreed that there isn’t much about acquisition reform in these bills, which is something we usually expect to see. He explained that this is partly because the military services need time to ensure proper implementation of these reforms.

As for items in the NDAA that do not deal directly with defense, Williams brought up the Tik Tok ban on the House side, saying that there are “definitely some national security concerns that are around that, but I think that that was one of those late-add amendments that doesn’t really pertain to DoD per se.” Maucione mentioned that Maine Sen. Angus King (I) “thinks that CISA needs a little more authority, and he’s asked them to look at how its missions can be bettered by additional budget resources.”

Williams said she would be surprised if the houses “give in to White House pressure to back off of some of the social justice reforms,” such as the inclusion of Chief Diversity Officers for each of the services, as they conference their versions of these bills in the next couple of months. “There definitely seems to be a public push and fervor there for that,” she said.

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