H.Res. ____: National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014

H.Res. ____

National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2014

December 12, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Thursday, December 12, 2013, the House will consider H.Res. ___, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014, under a suspension of the rules.  The vehicle used to consider the NDAA will be an amendment to H.R. 3304, a Medal of Honor bill referred to the House Armed Services Committee, which previously passed the House under suspension and was agreed to, with amendment, by the Senate.[1]

The resolution is substantially based on H.R. 1960, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014, which passed the House on June 14, 2013 by a vote of 315-108; and S. 1197, which was passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 14, 2013 by a vote of 23-3.  Through a series of negotiations, the bills were merged to contain many proposals that were intended for consideration by the full Senate.

[1] The provisions granting the President the authority to award the Medal of Honor to certain individuals have been retained.

Bill Summary

The NDAA authorizes and prioritizes funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other select national security programs within the Department of Energy (DoE)[1] for FY 2014.  The bill authorizes a $552.1 billion topline for base national defense programs, which includes $7.7 billion in defense mandatory spending and $544.4 billion in discretionary spending.[2]  Additionally, the bill authorizes $80.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).  The resolution fully complies with the House-passed budget—passed with 221 Republican votes on March 21, 2013—which funds national defense at pre-sequester levels while reducing overall spending by complying with the Budget Control Act cap.

The following key provisions of the bill are highlighted in a summary of the NDAA provided by the House Armed Services Committee:

Troop Pay – The NDAA supports current law that allows troop pay to keep pace with the private sector, but allows the President to make exceptions by executive order.  The resolution neither affirms nor rejects the President’s plan to use such authority for a 1% pay increase in 2014,

Prevention of New Fees and Fee Increases under TRICARE – The resolution rejects proposals to increase fees or create new fees under TRICARE and maintains current reforms set in place by Congress.

Reforms to Combat Sexual Assault – Bipartisan reforms are included to enhance prevention and prosecution of sexual assault.  The resolution alters the treatment of sexual assault in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) by removing the authority of a commander to dismiss a court-martial finding or reduce a guilty sentence and by establishing mandatory minimum sentences for sexual assault related offenses.  The resolution requires personnel records to now include information on sex-related offenses.  The NDAA increases victim support by allowing victims of sexual assault to apply for a permanent change of station or unit transfer, and by allowing the Secretary of Defense (“the Secretary”) to authorize commanders to remove or temporarily reassign alleged perpetrators of sexual assault.  The resolution provides for specially trained victims’ counsels to be made available to provide legal assistance to victims, and adds sexual assault-related misconduct to the protected whistleblower communications that servicemembers may have with a Member of Congress or an Inspector General.  The NDAA eliminates the 5 year statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault and reforms the Article 32 process to avoid destructive “fishing expeditions” and properly focus on probable cause.  The NDAA requires the Secretary to assess the role and authorities of commanders in the administration of military justice and the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of offenses under the UCMJ.

Gender-Neutral Standards – The NDAA establishes a definition of gender-neutral occupational standard to be used by each military service in the standards required for all military career designators.

Religious Liberties Protections – The resolution expands religious freedom provisions for chaplains and servicemembers to include beliefs and expression of beliefs.

Advanced Notice of Deployment – The NDAA requires a minimum 120-day notification prior to deployment and a minimum 180-day notification prior to cancellation of deployment for the operational reserves.

Body Armor – The NDAA facilitates the development of more functional, lighter, and more protective body armor.  It also requires a study on ways to improve body armor and personal protection equipment acquisition and development.

Restored Readiness – The resolution restores readiness accounts by replacing funds that were reprogrammed to cover underfunded combat operations.  The NDAA also meets the President’s OCO request.  These funds will improve Army and Air Force flying hours programs, ship depot maintenance, facilities sustainment, and other vital operations and maintenance programs. 

Afghanistan – The NDAA reauthorizes key authorities that support the transition in Afghanistan.  It reauthorizes authorities for U.S. Special Operations Forces and counter-narcotics programs.  However, it prohibits the use of half of the funds until the Secretary certifies that a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the U.S. and the Government of Afghanistan has been signed and is in the national security interests of the U.S.  The NDAA also requires an unclassified summary on detainees held at the detention center at Parwan, Afghanistan.  The resolution requires a GAO report on the composition and security needs of U.S. forces during the withdrawal.  It also calls on the President to consult with Congress regarding the size and mission of a post-2014 presence in Afghanistan; and requires a report on the plan to disrupt and degrade the Haqqani Network.

Pakistan – The bill reauthorizes coalition support funding for Pakistan, but makes it contingent upon a certification by the Secretary that Pakistan is, in fact, supporting the movement of U.S. supplies and equipment through ground lines of communication (GLOC) in Pakistan and taking other concrete steps to maintain security.

Benghazi – In light of the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi in September of 2012, the resolution requires a report from DoD on the posture and readiness of U.S. Armed Forces to respond to a request by the Department of State to support embassy security in the event of a similar attack.

Syria – The NDAA provides enhanced authority for DoD’s Cooperative Threat Reduction program to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons and requires the development of a cooperative threat reduction strategy to combat weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East and North Africa.  The resolution authorizes the Armed Forces to train and equip regional partners for WMD response, and authorizes support for Jordan to secure its border with Syria.

Iran – The resolution expands the Iran Military Power Report to include an assessment of Iran’s global threat network.  It also requires a report on military partnerships with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries and efforts to improve regional defense systems.  The resolution authorizes integrated air and missile defense with GCC countries.

Accountability on the Battlefield – The NDAA requires the Secretary to notify Congress of new Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) and those renewed, terminated, or amended.  It also expands authorities aimed at combating contracting with the enemy, and requires the Secretary to assess the affiliates and adherents of al Qaeda and the evolving threat they pose to U.S. national security.

Oversight of Targeted Operations – The NDAA incorporates the key provisions of the Oversight of Sensitive Military Operations Act (OSOMA) as a vehicle for formal, stringent oversight of targeted lethal or capture operations by the Armed Forces overseas.

Accountability for Strategic Programs and Assets – The resolution prohibits the transfer of certain missile defense technology to Russia and increases congressional oversight of U.S.-Russia missile defense cooperation generally.  It requires a report on Russian strategy, doctrine and training, force structure, and military-to-military contacts.  It also reforms DoD interaction with commercial satellite companies to prevent inadvertent access to vital systems and information.  The NDAA ensures the Air Force maintains capability to deploy multiple nuclear warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).  It also prohibits the President from approving installation of Russian satellite ground stations in the U.S. that pose a threat to national security.  The NDAA regulates the manner in which the President implements the New START treaty and protects the nuclear TRIAD.

Institutional Accountability – The NDAA requires a policy governing defense intelligence priorities and limits the funding for the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS) until the Secretary certifies that the program primarily fills DoD’s unique requirements.  The resolution directs a review of the future roles and missions of SOCOM and U.S. Special Operations Forces.  The NDAA improves security at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and expresses congressional concern about recent restructuring that makes the Office of Net Assessment subordinate to the Undersecretary for Policy.

Reduced Bureaucracy – The NDAA requires the Secretary to develop a plan for the future role of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organizations (JIEDDO); requires a determination of whether the Air Sea Battle Office is duplicative of other existing efforts; and reduces flag officer billets by 24.

Platform Accountability – The resolution expresses concern with the design of the Arleigh Burke class Destroyer Flight 3, and limits funding for the next stage of the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle development until the certain requirements are met.  The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JCS) receive additional oversight.

Naval Resources – The NDAA supports the retention of seven Navy cruisers and two amphibious ships proposed for early retirement.

BRAC – The NDAA prohibits DoD from initiating another round of BRAC.

Training Ranges – The resolution ensures DoD has continued access to military training ranges.

Guantanamo Bay – The resolution maintains the prohibition against transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. and the prohibition on construction of detainee facilities in the U.S.  It also maintains limitations on detainee transfers to third countries designed to forestall reengagement.

Executive Compensation Reform – The NDAA alters the formula for determining the amount of contractor compensation that is an “allowable cost” for federal contracts and sets a lower cap than current law, which can be adjusted based on the Employment Cost Index.

Industrial Base Matters – The NDAA includes a new title intended to protect and secure defense industrial base capacity and security, in part by assisting small businesses and strengthening the Procurement Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program.

Science and Technology – The resolution strengthens the ability of DoD laboratories to support the continued development and expansion of their workforce and facilities.  The NDAA extends authorities to provide for information technology personnel exchanges between private industry and DoD; authorizes new awards for advanced technology achievements; and supports workforce development for defense labs and defense-wide directed energy programs.

Armor Brigade Combat Team Force Structure and Industrial Base – The NDAA provides additional funding for Abrams tank upgrades, which will avoid unnecessary national risk from relying solely on foreign military sales to sustain this critical national capability.

Defense Intelligence – The resolution authorizes critical national security activities and programs including cyber security and operations, combating weapons of mass destruction, counter terrorism, defense intelligence, and Special Operations Forces.  The NDAA requires creation of a policy to govern defense intelligence priorities.  It also requires a plan related to the drawdown of defense intelligence assets in Afghanistan, and prevents the retirement of Global Hawk block 30 unmanned aircraft through the end of 2014.

Missile Defense – The NDAA increases spending for homeland missile defense beyond the President’s budget request.  It prohibits the use of funds to allow Chinese missile defense systems to be integrated with U.S. or NATO systems.  The resolution invests in Iron Dome and other Israeli Cooperative Missile Defense Programs, and provides for the deployment of an East Coast missile defense site.

Cybersecurity – To address increasing concerns about the threats posed by cyber attacks, the resolution requires DoD to conduct a mission analysis for cyber operations and report on the coordination of cyber and electronic warfare activities.  The NDAA would also require that Congress be notified of investigations of cyber intrusions that compromise critical information.  The resolution requires DoD to develop standards for cyber operations training, and provides important authorities to the Department of Energy to ensure the integrity of its IT supply chain.

Pacific Rebalance – The NDAA recognizes the increasing strategic importance of Guam.  It also prohibits the Navy from retiring certain ships that have over 10 years of hull life available; and requires expanded military power reports on China and North Korea.

Forward Basing – The resolution continues investment in forward basing and requires a report on the need for continued foreign basing, especially in Europe, to support CENTCOM and AFRICOM.

Building Partnership Capacity – The NDAA provides support and enhanced oversight of key DoD building partnership capacity authorities, including expanded 1206 Global Train and Equip authority, improved Global Security Contingency Fund reporting requirements, and extended and expanded support for forces countering the Lord’s Resistance Army.

National Guard and Reserve Equipment Modernization – The NDAA provides additional funding for modernizing National Guard and Reserve Component equipment.

Vital Platforms– The resolution continues investments in weapon systems vital to addressing future threats including: supporting the Navy’s authorization request for a nuclear aircraft carrier (CVN 78); approving a multi-year procurement for E-2D Hawkeye and C-130J Super Hercules; modernizing the C-130H aircraft for the National Guard and Reserve; supporting funding for the KC-46 tanker and the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B); providing additional funding for advance procurement of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle; and providing additional investment in the Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial systems.

[1] Including the National Nuclear Security Administration, defense environmental cleanup activities, energy security and assurance programs, and other defense activities.

[2] Authorized discretionary spending includes $526.8 billion for DoD and $17.6 billion for DoE.


According to preliminary CBO estimates, enacting the NDAA will increase net direct spending by $68 million in 2014, $280 million from 2014-2018, and $283 million from 2014-2023.  Because the bill would affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. 

The agreement provides the legislative relief necessary to implement the court ordered settlement on the cancelled A-12 program. Although CBO must score this provision as a technical matter, since absent a change in the law, any future settlement would be applied to cancelled appropriations from the 1990s, this settlement in fact provides a $400 million credit to ongoing government contracts, delivering fighter aircraft and Navy destroyer hardware at no additional cost to the government. Without this legislation, the court ordered settlement will expire and the government will be faced with further costly litigation.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.