A Side-by-Side Comparison of House, Senate and Conference Defense Authorization Bills

On September 29th, 2015, the House and Senate concluded their conference of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The agreement was held up over a variety of issues, including provisions regarding Guantanamo Bay, military retirement benefits modernization, protection of the Greater Sage Grouse, and the Overseas Contingency Operations budget (OCO).

As part of its FY16 budget request, the administration requested $50.9 billion for OCO. The conference bill authorizes $38.3 billion over the president’s request for the war slush fund.

 

Department of Defense – Military, Base Budget (051)
House Senate Conference
$496.1 billion $496.5 billion $496.4 billion

 

Atomic Energy Defense Activities (053)
House Senate Conference
$18.9 billion $18.7 billion $18.6 billion

 

Overseas Contingency Operations (not including international affairs programs)
House Senate Conference
$89.2 billion $88.9 billion $89.2 billion

 

TOTAL: National Defense (Budget Function 050)
House Senate Conference
$604.2 billion $604.1 billion $604.2 billion

 

Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)
House Senate Conference

Bars a new round of base closings (BRAC) (section 2702).

Bars a new round of base closings (BRAC) (section 2702). Prevents DoD from conducting another round of BRAC.

 

Guantanamo Bay Prison Provisions
House Senate Conference

Prohibits the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at Guantanamo, for two years (sec. 1036). 

Prohibits the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at Guantanamo, but would allow transfers to the US for trial (sec 1032). Prohibits the use of funds for the transfer or release of individuals detained at Guantanamo, for until December 31, 2016.

 

Torture
House Senate Conference

No Provision.

Limits interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual for any agent of the U.S. Government or controlled by a department or agency of the U.S. Govt. in armed conflict. Limits interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual for any agent of the U.S. Government or controlled by a department or agency of the U.S. Govt. in armed conflict.Makes the limitation inapplicable to law enforcement personnel, and requires the DoD to review and revise the manual every three years.

 

Military Retirement System
House Senate Conference

Establishes a new military retirement system that would apply to new entrants after January 1, 2018. Newly defined benefit would continue to apply only to those members who reached 20 years of service, with a multiplier rate of 2.0 times years of service, rather than 2.5 (sec. 632).

Also establishes a new military retirement system that would apply to new entrants after January 1, 2018. Newly defined benefit would continue to apply only to those members who reached 20 years of service, with a multiplier rate of 2.0 times years of service, rather than 2.5 (sec 632). Establishes a new military retirement system that would apply to new entrants after January 1, 2018. Newly defined benefit would continue to apply only to those members who reached 20 years of service, with a multiplier rate of 2.0 times years of service, rather than 2.5. Delays implementation of a modernized military retirement system until January 1, 2018.

 

Sea-Based Deterrence Fund to Pay for Nuclear Submarines
House Senate Conference
Expands the transfer authority provided for the Sea-Based Deterrence Fund from the Department of Navy to the Department of Defense (section 1051). Permits the Pentagon to tap unobligated funds from across the Defense Department and authorizes transferring $1.4 billion from research and development accounts (section 4501). Authorizes up to $3.5 billion for the Sea-Based Deterrence Fund from unobligated funds authorized to be appropriated throughout the Department of Defense (section 1022). Expands the National Sea Based Deterrence Fund to pay for costly new strategic nuclear submarines by authorizing additional authorities to help make the fund more flexible.

 

Long-Range Strike Bomber
House Senate Conference
Authorizes $786.2, $460 million less than the President’s request for the long-range strike bomber program. Authorizes $786.2, $460 million less than the President’s request for the long-range strategic bomber program. Authorizes $786.2, $460 million less than the President’s request for the long-range strategic bomber program.
Requires the Comptroller General to conduct a review of the U.S. Air Force bomber acquisition program as it pertains to the new bomber. Requires a report on the technological readiness level of the technologies and capabilities of the LRS-B. Requires a report on the technical readiness levels of the critical components of the LRS-B.
No Provision. Limits the retirement of B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers to pay for a new long-range bomber (section 131). Prohibits the retirement of the B-1, B-2 and B-52 aircraft prior to initial operational capability of the new LRS-B, unless the Secretary of the Air Force provides notification and justification for doing so.

 

Missile Defense
House Senate Conference

Authorizes $679.4 million for 58 Aegis BMD missiles – $120.5 million and 18 more missiles than the Administration request.

Authorizes $706.7 million for 49 Aegis BMD missiles – $147.8 million and 18 more missiles than the Administration’s request. Authorizes $679.4 million for 58 Aegis BMD missiles – $120.5 million and 18 more missiles than the Administration request.
Requires the modification of the Aegis Ashore site in Romania, and the planned site in Poland, to provide enhanced Anti-Air Warfare capability for defense against Russian aircraft and cruise missiles. No provision.

Requires the modification of the Aegis Ashore site in Romania, and the planned site in Poland, to provide enhanced Anti-Air Warfare capability for defense against cruise missiles. Also requires a request to NATO to consider covering the cost.
Requires the relocation of the Sea-based X-band Radar from Hawaii to a site on the East Coast by 2020, with the plan to homeport the radar on the East Coast (section 1673). Requires a report on whether Hawaii is adequately protected from present and future North Korean missile threats. Requires siting and design studies to homeport the X-Band radar on the East Coast and requires its deployment by December 2020. Mandates capability to defend Hawaii from missiles before any relocation.

 

Multiple-Option Kill Vehicle
House Senate Conference

Recommends $86.5 million, an increase of $40.0 million over the president’s request, for the MOKV program. Also requires that the Director of the Missile Defense Agency conduct rigorous flight testing by not later than 2020, and deployment of such vehicle as soon as practicable there- after (section 1671).

Recommends an increase of $20.0 million over the President’s request for a total of $66.7 million for the MOKV development program. Also requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to conduct rigorous flight testing of the multi-object kill vehicle by not later than 2020 and field such vehicle as soon as technically practicable (section 1646).

Directs the acceleration of this program to develop the Multiple-Object Kill Vehicle for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system. Requires the development of this capability by the 2020s, and test of the system by 2020.

 

East Coast Missile Defense
House

Senate

Conference
Provides $30 million for planning an East Coast missile defense site (section 4601).

No funding.

 

Provides $30 million for design and construction of an East Coast missile defense site.
Requires the Missile Defense Agency to tell Congress its preferred location for an East Coast missile defense within 30 days of the publishing of the draft environmental impact statement. Finds that the currently deployed ground-based midcourse defense system is sufficient to protect the East Coast from North Korea and Iran. Recommends deploying by 2020 a new long-range tracking and discrimination sensor capabilities. While not insisting on a new East Coast missile defense, if the Pentagon does determine it needs an additional missile defense site after completing environmental reviews by 2016, it should plan to do on an expedited basis within three years of that decision (section 1641). Requires the Missile Defense Agency to tell Congress its preferred location for an East Coast missile defense within 30 days of the publishing of the draft environmental impact statement.

 

Boost Phase Missile Defense
House

Senate

Conference
Requires development and fielding of a boost phase missile defense system by 2022 (section 1672). Directs development of a boost phase defense system by Fiscal Year 2025 (section 1648).

Requires development and fielding of a boost phase missile defense system by 2025, but prioritizes feasible and cost-effective efforts. Also requires a report on airborne or other boost phase defense systems.

 

Space-Based Missile Defense
House

Senate

Conference

Requires launching research and development, and engineering evaluation for space-based missile defense (section 1675).

 

 

Acknowledges that the Pentagon has in the past rejected space-based missile defense due to “certain challenges”; requires a report on the need for a space-based missile defense, the current technologies and life cycle costs for such a system (section 4201).

Requires the commencement of concept definition of a space-based ballistic missile interceptor system and a report to Congress on its findings.

 

Long-Range Standoff Weapon (Nuclear Tipped Cruise Missiles)

House

Senate

Conference
Requires a Pentagon report on plans, cost and strategy to increase the number of nuclear-armed cruise missiles known as Long Range Standoff Weapon. Establishes a deadline to make a Milestone A (early stage of weapons acquisition) decision on the cruise missile by no later than May 31, 2016 (section 1634). Includes a Sense of Congress and requires a report for a Milestone A decision on the long-range standoff weapon and the number of planned nuclear armed cruise missiles

 

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile force
House

Senate

Conference

Prohibits the reduction of the alert posture of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) force (floor amendment).

No provision.

Prohibits the use of FY16 funds to reduce the alert posture of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) force.

 

Nuclear Weapons
House

Senate

Conference

House strongly supports the nuclear triad and the urgent need for modernization of all three legs of the triad. 

 

 

Sense of Congress endorsing the nuclear triad of nuclear weapons on land, at sea and in the air as “the highest priority mission of the Department of Defense,” that it is the policy of the United States to sustain and modernize or replace the entire triad plus “operate, sustain, and modernize or replace forward-deployed nuclear weapons and dual capable fighter-bomber aircraft” (section 1636).

Sense of Congress that retaining all three legs of the nuclear triad is the highest priority mission of the Department of Defense, and that it is the policy of the United States to sustain and modernize or replace the triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems.

 

Non-Proliferation Funding and Programs
House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $358.5 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction non-proliferation program (section 1301).

Authorizes $358.5 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction non-proliferation program (section 1301). Authorizes $358.5 million for the Cooperative Threat Reduction non-proliferation program.
Continues a ban on Fiscal Year 2016 funding defense nuclear nonproliferation programs from being spent in Russia, although waivers are allowed if the Energy Department deems it in U.S. security interests (section 3118). No provision.

 

Continues a ban on Fiscal Year 2016 funding defense nuclear nonproliferation programs from being spent in Russia, although waivers are allowed if the Energy Department deems it in U.S. security interests.
Prohibits any funding for research programs for arms control treaty verification and monitoring beyond what is required for New START unless a number of conditions are met (committee amendment). No provision. Fences funds for certain nuclear verification and detection technology R&D (about $3 million) until NNSA submits a report detailing all detection and verification technologies that exist within Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation.

 

New START
House Senate Conference
Bars funds to implement the New START nuclear reductions treaty until the Russians leave Ukraine, stop cheating on the INF, and other conditions (floor amendment). No provision. Drops the House-passed prohibition on funding to implement New START – and requires an annual report instead on why treaty is in the United States’ national security interest.

 

Response to Russian Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty violations
House Senate Conference
Requires the Pentagon to begin work on “counterforce capabilities to prevent intermediate-range ground-launched ballistic missile and cruise-missile attacks” that can be deployed in two years as a response to Russian violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. But the committee does not authorize flight testing of any new system, which would be a violation of the INF Treaty. Includes a Sense of Congress that in developing a nuclear ground-launched cruise missile, Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Requires a plan for counterforce, countervailing and defenses from the Defense secretary if Russia does not take measures to return to compliance with the INF Treaty. Requires the Pentagon to begin work on counterforce capabilities to prevent intermediate-range ground-launched ballistic missile and cruise-missile attacks, with priority for capabilities that that could be deployed in two years. Requires quarterly notification of whether Russia continues to violate INF treaty.

 

National Nuclear Security Agency Funding
House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $12.8 billion for the National Nuclear Security Agency of the Department of Energy, a $204.7 million increase compared to the President’s request (section 4701).

 

Authorizes $12.8 billion for the National Nuclear Security Agency of the Department of Energy, a $204.7 million increase compared to the President’s request (section 3101).

 

Authorizes $12.49 billion for the National Nuclear Security Agency of the Department of Energy.

Of that, authorizes $9.1 billion for NNSA weapons activities ($237.7 million more than the President’s request); $1.9 billion for Defense nuclear non-proliferation (DNN) ($50 million less than the President’s request).

 

Of that, authorizes $9.0 billion for NNSA weapons activities ($237.7 million more than the President’s request); $1.9 billion for Defense nuclear non-proliferation (DNN) ($50 million less than the President’s request).

 

Of that, authorizes $8.8 billion for NNSA weapons activities and $1.9 billion for Defense nuclear non-proliferation (DNN).

Authorizes for Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation subprograms: $336.8 million for Global Material Security, $331.6 million for Material Management and Minimization, $126.7 million for Nonproliferation and arms control, and $439.3 million for Research and Development (section 4701).

 

Authorizes for Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation subprograms the same as requested: $426.8 million for Global Material Security, $311.6 million for Material Management and Minimization, $126.7 million for Nonproliferation and arms control, and $419.3 million for Research and Development (section 4701).

 

Authorizes for Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation subprograms: $422.9 million for Global Material Security, $311.6 million for Material Management and Minimization, $126.7 million for Nonproliferation and arms control, and $419.3 million for Research and Development.
Drops house provision that excluded nuclear non-proliferation from the NNSA programs that DoD can transfer funding to.

 

Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication
House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $345 million for MOX (the same as the President’s request) (section 3116).

Authorizes $345 million for MOX (the same as the President’s request), plus an additional $5 million to research alternatives for a total of $350 million. The committee notes the recent report estimated that the MOX plant could cost $51 billion and requires further study of downblending as an alternative (section 4701).

Authorizes full funding for MOX, and mandates that funding be used for construction. Also authorizes up to $5 million for an analysis of alternative ways to dispose of plutonium.

 

Radiological Portals
House

Senate

Conference

Cuts funding from fixed-site radiological portals designed to intercept nuclear weapons and nuclear materials from being shipped from other countries to the U.S.

No provision.

Fences funds for fixed portal monitors until the Director of National Intelligence submits a report on the use of this and other non-proliferation technologies.

 

Nuclear Weapons Dismantlement
House Senate Conference

Limits $50 million annually for dismantlement of nuclear weapons (committee amendment).

No provision.

Limits to $50 million spending in FY16 for dismantlement of nuclear weapons, and prohibits the use of FY16 funds for dismantlement of any W84 warheads.

 

F-35
House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $2.5 billion for the F-35 Marine Corps variant ($98 million and six more planes than the President’s request)

 

Authorizes $2.5 billion for the F-35 Marine Corps variant ($103 million and six more planes than the President’s request).

 

 

Includes two provisions on the F-35 requiring outside assessment and report on the engine program and logistics support software.

Requires an independent review of the F-35 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (section 214).

 

Limits the availability for F-35A (Air Force) procurement to $4.3 billion until all F-35As delivered in Fiscal Year 2018 are deemed combat capable, but authorizes $5.2 billion in procurement for 44 F-35As ($99 million less than the request) (section 133). Also authorizes $873.0 million in procurement for four F-35C (carrier variant) aircrafts, and $2.5 billion in procurement for 15 F-35B (Navy) aircraft, an increase of six aircraft and $1.1 billion from the request. Authorizes $12.2 billion for continued development and procurement of 63 F-35 aircraft: 44 F-35A, 15 F-35B, and 4 F-35C.This includes a $846 million increase compared to the President’s Request for six F-35 Bs, a $149 million reduction to F-35 procurement based on expected contract savings and unjustified support equipment cost increases, and a $50 million reduction to F-35 R&D due to follow-on-development contract award delays.

 

Ukraine
House

Senate

Conference
Authorizes up to $200 million to provide the Ukrainian military with lethal defensive weapons (section 1532). Authorizes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative to provide aid, including lethal military assistance, to Ukraine’s military and other security forces (section 1251). Authorizes (but does not require) $300 million for the Ukrainian train-and-equip effort, including lethal weapons of a defensive nature.

 

Counterterrorism Partnership Fund
House

Senate

Conference

Blocks $2.1 billion requested for a counterterrorism partnership fund (section 4302).

 

Authorizes $1.0 billion for the Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, $1.1 billion less than the President’s request (section 1511). Authorizes $1 billion for the counterterrorism partnership fund (president requested $2.1 billion)

 

Pentagon Audit
House

Senate

Conference
Stresses the importance of the Department of Defense’s financial management and audit efforts, and notes that the Department has two fiscal years remaining to complete its audit readiness work in preparation for meeting its goal of full financial statement auditability by September 20, 2017. Permits independent auditors to aid the Pentagon attempts to prepare annual audits (section 1002). Stresses the importance of the Department of Defense’s financial management and audit efforts, and notes that the deadline to be audit-ready by 2017 is fast approaching.

 

Aid to Syrian Opposition

House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $600 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces (section 1225).

Authorizes $600 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces (section 4302).

Authorizes $600 million to train and equip Syrian opposition forces.

 

Aid to Iraq
House

Senate

Conference

Authorizes $715 million to train and equip Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State (section 4302).

 

Authorizes $715 million to train and equip Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State (section 4302).

 

Authorizes $715 million to train and equip Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State.

 

Greater Sage Grouse
House Senate Conference

Prohibits any change in the status of the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered species through 2025.

No provision. Dropped the House provision.