House NDAA Vote Not Expected Until After August as Infrastructure Takes Priority

The 2022 defense policy bill won’t get out of committee until July, as the Biden administration has not yet released its proposed budget and is making a major infrastructure bill its main priority, a key lawmaker said May 12.

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Maryland), a House Armed Services Committee member who serves on both the tactical air and land forces and emerging threats subcommittees, said during the McAleese FY2022 Defense Programs Conference that lawmakers have called for the administration to “expedite” the delivery of the budget to start the process. 

However, the Democratic leadership has said the proposed American Rescue Plan should be up for a final vote before the August recess, and “if that happens, it will clearly happen before the defense authorization act,” Brown said.

This means the bill won’t get out of committee until June and “maybe as late as July,” with a full House vote after the August recess.

Because of this timeline, and recent Congressional history, Brown said while he is “not inviting” a continuing resolution, “Certainly we should all anticipate it” and hope that any such resolution “will not be for an extended period of time.”

Air Force officials warned last year that yet another continuing resolution would harm national security and prevent the department from acquiring the technology needed to compete in great power competition.

While the full budget proposal has not been released, the Biden administration announced last month it would propose $715 billion in funding for the Pentagon, and $753 billion in total for national security. The proposal would do away with the overseas contingency operations funding account and is a drop from the previous Trump administration’s projected $722 billion proposal for fiscal 2022. Republicans already are gearing up for a budget battle, saying the Defense Department should receive $753 billion in its topline budget.