President Joe Biden today signed into law the fiscal year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that sets policy guidance for the Defense Department. The $740 billion NDAA, which was passed by the House on a 363-70 margin Dec. 7 and the Senate by a 88-11 margin on Dec. 15, calls for $25 billion more in defense spending than Biden’s budget request.
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon has a policy bill. Now it just needs the money to go with it.
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While getting the NDAA done is a major boon for the DoD, the big question remains whether Congressional appropriators can come together and reach a funding agreement before mid-February, when the ongoing Continuing Resolution, or CR, expires.
By the time the middle of February rolls around, the government will already be five months into FY22 — and any extension of that CR, let alone the dreaded concept of a full-year continuing resolution, will only continue to hamper the department’s efforts.
Under a CR, the department cannot start any new funding programs and is operating under FY21 budget levels for its programs. As DoD officials are always quick to point out, that puts a major hurdle in the way of R&D efforts that are needed to ensure the US maintains a military edge over China and Russia, and can lead to extra program costs due to inefficiencies.