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Sunday, March 7th, 2021

Sen. Inhofe introduces “skinny” defense authorization bill

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U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) introduced a “skinny” or basic version of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA).

This version of the annual defense authorization provides for the common defense by extending essential, noncontroversial authorities for national security programs that would otherwise expire soon.

“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.”

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2020 (S. 1790) in June by a vote of 86-18 while the House passed its version in July by a vote of 220-197, with only Democrats voting in favor of the bill. So now both are at a stalemate. As a back-up plan, Inhofe announced his intent to file the skinny bill to secure needed authorizations by the end of the calendar year. Beyond that, Inhofe will continue to work to pass a full measure as soon as possible.

Inhofe is taking this step to ensure that critical defense programs are authorized, including pay for service members and Department of Defense civilians.