House Passes NDAA Bill, Including OPM, Background Check Amendments

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The House voted today to approve its version of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (HR 2500). The bill was approved largely on a party-line vote of 220-197, with 220 Democrats voting in favor, and 188 Republicans and 8 Democrats voting against.

Of interest to the Federal tech community were two amendments:

The first would block the Trump administration’s proposal to merge the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration. That amendment was approved by the House during debate on July 11.

The second amendment approved July 12 would require quarterly reports to Congress over the next five years on the size of the Federal government’s backlog of security clearance adjudications. The reports would detail backlogs for each agency, and also include mitigation plans to reduce backlogs. According to figures supplied by Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the backlog stood at about 500,000 at year-end 2018, after peaking at 750,000 earlier in the year.

The Senate passed its version of the NDAA on June 28, but final approval of the legislation still requires reconciliation of differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation, and President Trump’s signature. The White House earlier this week flagged dozens of issues in the House bill that it said could result in a veto of the bill by President Trump.

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