House Approves FY2019 NDAA Bill

The House on Thursday voted 359-54 to approve the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2019 (HR 5515) and an accompanying conference report produced earlier this month that irons out differences between House and Senate versions of the bill.

The Senate may consider the bill sometime next week, according to reports, although the item as of today was not listed on the Senate legislative schedule for Monday, July 30.

The wide-ranging bill puts a sharp focus on numerous issues including IT modernization, cyber defense policies, and a ban on Federal government purchases of goods and services from China-based communications equipment makers ZTE and Huawei.

The legislation also requires heads of Executive agencies administering loan, grant, or subsidy programs to “prioritize available funding and technical support to assist affected businesses, institutions and organizations as is reasonably necessary for those affected entities to transition from” communications equipment and services purchased from the two Chinese firms, “to procure replacement equipment and services, and to ensure that communications services to users and customers is sustained.”

“The conferees stress the importance of assisting rural communications service providers, anchor institutions, and public safety organizations in replacing covered equipment and associated support services contracts as soon as practicable,” the conference report says.

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