Final Agreement Reached on the National Defense Authorization Act; Includes Provision for the Creation of AI Research Institutes

Dec 14, 2020

by ASME.org

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conferees have moved forward the final version of the Fiscal Year 2021 NDAA bill, including artificial intelligence (AI) provisions that ASME has strongly advocated. The bill’s AI provisions (Secs. 5001-5501) include creating AI research institutes that would significantly enhance interagency cooperation. Further, the bill authorizes up to $868 million to NSF to carry out these priorities, and recommends Appropriators increase that funding to $1 billion by Fiscal Year 2025. 

The bill was passed by both the House and Senate last week, despite the President doubling down on his threat to veto the bill. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has said publicly that the House has enough support to override the President’s potential veto if necessary. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) have issued a joint statement in support of the final bill, commenting that “for 59 straight years, the NDAA has passed because Members of Congress and Presidents of both parties have set aside their own policy objectives and partisan preferences and put the needs of our military personnel and America’s security first. The time has come to do that again.”
 
The House and Senate both passed the bill with veto-proof majorities, sending a clear message to the White House that this is indeed the final agreement reached by Congressional conferees. The President has threatened a veto of the bill because it includes requirements for the renaming of military bases named after Confederate leaders. 

The President has 10 days, which began on Friday, to sign the bill into law or veto it. If he chooses to take no action, the bill will become law automatically on the 10th day (excluding Sundays) while Congress is in session.
 

 

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