Houses Lawmakers Continue Moving Through NDAA Amendments; Republicans Express Frustration

Houses Lawmakers Continue Moving Through NDAA Amendments; Republicans Express Frustration

The Democrat-led House continued debate Thursday on more than 300 remaining amendments filed on its version of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, after the chamber approved more than 100 amendments Wednesday, Roll Call reported.

The must-pass annual defense policy bill traditionally receives bipartisan support but faced rising criticism from leading Republicans who expressed unhappiness with the amendments Democrats allowed for debate, according to the report.

“There is virtually no opportunity to improve the bill,” said Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. He expressed frustration that almost none of the amendments allowed for floor debate address Republican concerns with the bill.

With hundreds of amendments for consideration, House leaders have relied on pushing through more than a dozen bundled amendment packages to limit debate and adopt largely noncontroversial provisions.

The Republican opposition to the bill has required careful control of the amendment process to keep support from progressive Democrats, who typically oppose defense authorization bills for authorizing higher defense spending.

If passed, the House NDAA would authorize the Democrats’ preferred $733 billion defense topline, which is $17 billion less than the $750 billion version the GOP-led Senate approved last week.

DOD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann

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