John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 - H.R.5515 / S.2987

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Overview
Purpose: 
"To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2019 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes"
Primary sponsors: 
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) / Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Latest major action: 
President signed conference bill H.R.5515 into law, August 13, 2018
Summary of provisions

Provisions in the final bill

  • Directs DOD to develop a National Defense Science and Technology Strategy
  • Directs DOD to establish a coordinated R&D program in quantum information science
  • Directs DOD to establish an initiative to support academic institutions' efforts to protect against foreign exploitation of intellectual property and personnel
  • Directs DOD to create additional programs modeled on the Army Research Laboratory's open campus program
  • Authorizes NNSA to construct a low-yield nuclear weapon, contingent on a specific request for funding
  • Directs DOD to begin work on a space-based missile defense system contingent on the availability of appropriations
  • For further information, see "Trump Signs National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019"

Provisions in the House bill

  • Directs DOD to develop a National Security Science and Technology Strategy
  • Directs DOD to develop a plan to eliminate its Strategic Capabilities Office
  • Authorizes DOD to create a program requiring recipients of R&D grants to certify no funding will go to individuals who have participated in talent recruitment programs operated by China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia
  • Directs the Air Force Research Laboratory to create a program modeled on the Army Research Laboratory's open campus program
  • Directs DOD to develop a STEM jobs action plan
  • Authorizes NNSA to begin development of a low-yield nuclear warhead
  • For further information, see "Defense Policy Bill Heads to Conference with Focus on Strategic Technologies" 

Provisions in the Senate bill

  • Transfers ultimate authority over many NNSA activities from the secretary of energy to the NNSA administrator
  • Directs DOD to create reports on U.S. and adversary capabilities in various technology areas and on the future of the defense research and engineering enterprise
  • Confers to the under secretary of defense for research and engineering direct authority over priority R&D areas, including artificial intelligence, directed energy, hypersonics, and future space satellite architectures
  • Directs DOD to establish a coordinated R&D program in quantum information science
  • Directs DOD to begin development of a space-based missile defense system
  • Relaxes an existing requirement that NNSA secure permission from Congress before developing a new low-yield nuclear warhead
  • For further information, see "Defense Policy Bill Heads to Conference with Focus on Strategic Technologies" 
Actions
Actions on the House bill: 
House passed bill on a vote of 351 to 66
May 24, 2018
House Armed Services Committee approved bill
May 10, 2018
Bill introduced
April 13, 2018
Actions on the Senate bill: 
Senate passed bill on a vote of 85 to 10
(Passed bill is H.R.5515 with Senate bill text replacing text of House bill)
June 18, 2018
Senate Armed Services Committee approved bill
June 5, 2018
Bill introduced
June 5, 2018
Actions on the conference bill: 
President signed conference bill into law
August 13, 2018
Senate passed conference bill on a vote of 87 to 10
August 1, 2018
House passed conference bill on a vote of 359 to 54
July 26, 2018