National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Passes House, will Authorize $738 billion for FY 2020

Dec 16, 2019

by ASME.org

The House and Senate have reached an agreement on S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, authorizing $738 billion for the nation’s defense initiatives. The compromise abides by the spending caps enacted earlier this year and would provide $635 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Defense (DOD), $23.1 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE), $300 million in other non-defense items, $71.5 billion for the overseas contingency fund, and $8.1 billion for defense-related activities outside the jurisdiction of the NDAA. Of key importance to ASME, the bill includes an increase of $20 million for the Defense-Wide Manufacturing Science and Technology Program, which includes DOD-led institutes that are part of the Manufacturing USA initiative.

The bill contains legislative provisions of interest to the ASME community, including:

  • Sec. 227. Administration of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes Funded By the Department of Defense
  • Sec. 229. Diversification of the Research and Engineering Workforce of the Department of Defense
  • Sec. 1735. Extension of National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence
  • Sec. 1741. Improvements to Manufacturing USA Program
  • Sec. 1742. Regional Innovation Program

Also worth noting are sections related to foreign influence, including:  

  • Sec. 1281. Modification of initiative to support protection of national security academic researchers from undue influence and other security threats.
  • Sec. 1746. Securing American Science and Technology
  • Sec. 5706. Comprehensive economic assessment of investment in key United
  • States technologies by companies or organizations linked to China.
  • Sec. 5713. Oversight of foreign influence in academia

To read the above sections in their entirety, please reference the bill text: https://www.congress.gov/116/crpt/hrpt333/CRPT-116hrpt333.pdf

The House passed the bill on December 11, sending it to the Senate to vote on the final measure before being sent to the President. The White House has issued a statement of support for the legislation and is expected to sign the bill into law before the Christmas holiday.

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