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October 29, 2019

SASC Chairman Inhofe Introduces Bill to Maintain National Defense, Support for Troops

“Skinny” bill will provide for pay and quality-of-life programs for military families, authorize military construction and support military acquisition program oversight

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today introduced the “skinny” National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA). This basic version of the annual defense authorization fulfills Congress’s duty to provide for the common defense by extending essential, noncontroversial authorities for national security programs that would otherwise expire soon.

While conference negotiations between the House and Senate continue, the deadline for completing the annual NDAA is rapidly approaching. Inhofe is taking this step to ensure that critical defense programs are authorized, including: pay for our service members and Department of Defense civilians; quality-of-life programs for military families; support for U.S. troops and partners conducting operations overseas; oversight of military construction and acquisition programs; and critical readiness efforts. In total, the bill supports a total of $738 billion in fiscal year 2020 funding for national defense, in line with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019.

“I’m introducing this simple, politics-free version of the annual defense authorization bill today to guarantee that we are able to fulfill our responsibilities to our service members and maintain critical national security programs—a goal all conferees share,” Inhofe said. “Given our deadline, I want to preserve all options for fulfilling our Constitutional duty. My Democrat colleagues in the Senate have been great partners throughout this entire process, and I believe we can still reach a final, bipartisan agreement on a comprehensive defense authorization bill, just as we have for the last 58 years.”

Inhofe spoke on the floor earlier today ahead of introducing the bill. Click here to watch or read his full floor statement.

Click here to find the full text of the legislation.

Background: The Senate passed S. 1790, the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020, on June 27, 2019, on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 86-8. The House passed H.R. 2500, its version of the NDAA, on July 12, 2019, 220-197, with only Democrats voting in favor of the bill. After discussing the possibility of a skinny bill as a back-up plan for over a month, Inhofe announced his intent to file the skinny bill last week, while reaffirming his commitment to completing a full bill. If a skinny bill becomes necessary in order to secure needed authorizations by the end of the calendar year, Inhofe will continue to work to pass a full bill as soon as possible. 


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