Lauren Underwood Service on NDAA Conference Committee Completed
Amid all of the end-of-year activity in the House of Representatives including the Impeachment hearings and Articles of Impeachment and the passage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s prescription drug pricing bill, other work had progress made, too.
And this work was genuinely bipartisan, and a new word I’m reading/seeing much more lately, “bicameral”. Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) began on October 1, but the federal government, to avoid a shutdown, has been operating on continuing resolutions.
The reason is Congress, and this is primarily in the Senate, has not passed all 12 appropriations bills which officially fund the government for the federal fiscal year from October 1 through September 30.
The 2nd continuing resolutions expires next Friday, December 20, and Congress is racing to pass all remaining appropriations bills in the next week.
One of the largest and most significant appropriations bills, the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) made significant progress this week.
During the summer, the House passed its NDAA in H.R. 2500, while at the same time, the Senate passed S. 1790, or its version of NDAA.
A conference committee started meeting in early October to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of NDAA, and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood was appointed to be a House conferee representing Homeland Security, through her position as Vice Chair of that committee.
The conference committee finished its work early this week, and Underwood tweeted the following:
On Wednesday, the House voted to approve the final conference report on NDAA under S. 1790, and the vote grid is below:
Of the No votes, the 41 Democratic negative votes included all four members of the Squad, and the most leftist members of the Democratic Party, including the House Progressive Caucus co-chairs.
Senate approval of the final conference report for S. 1790 is expected next week.
An additional NDAA House conferee was Congressman Mark Green (R, TN), whose Spiritual Readiness Amendment made the final NDAA conference report and also approved on Wednesday.
“I’m especially pleased that this year’s NDAA includes my Spiritual Readiness Amendment, which directs the Department of Defense to assess the availability of chaplains, houses of worship, and spiritual resources for military service members who identify as religiously affiliated.
“Those who profess a faith but are not able to practice it while serving are 5 times more likely to commit suicide. We must do more to ensure our warriors are spiritually prepared for war.“Congressman Mark Green press release 12/11/19
It is nice to see bipartisan/bicameral cooperation in Washington, especially with the backdrop of Impeachment.
- POLITICO 12/12/19: “Lawmakers Reach a Bipartisan ‘in principle’ to Fund the Government”: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/12/lawmakers-reach-a-bipartisan-deal-in-principle-to-fund-the-government-084008