Senate Passes NDAA

The Senate passed its version of the Fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill on Tuesday with an 85 to 13 vote. The $602 billion policy bill would reorganize the Pentagon’s leadership and the way it acquires weapons, namely by reducing staff sizes and eliminating the Defense acquisition chief position currently held by Frank Kendall. Senate A??rmed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), called the Senate’s draft of the National Defense Authorization Act “the most significant piece of defense reform legislation passed by the Senate in 30 years,” according to a release. But the the legislation does not include all of the measures sought by McCain. He has repeatedly railed against the continued use of the Russian-made RD-180 engines, which power the Atlas V rocket, but an amendment passed by voice vote allows the Pentagon to buy the 18 more it has asked for until 2022, The Hill reported, rather than the nine allowed for in the Fiscal 2015 and 2016 authorization bills. The bill would also require women to register for the draft. The House passed its draft of the NDAA in May, and lawmakers will now work to draft a compromise bill for President Barack Obama’s signature. The White House has threatened to veto both versions of the NDAA.