NDAA Clears Senate Despite White House Veto Threat

The Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 today in an 86-14 vote, following a White House threat to veto the legislation.

The FY21 NDAA includes provisions such as Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency administrative subpoena power over internet service providers, and language pushing for Open RAN technologies. The bill also includes several cybersecurity recommendations from the Cyberspace Solarium Commission and a pay raise for military personnel.

“I’m proud of the work we accomplished in the FY2021 NDAA on behalf of our servicemembers, including securing the second consecutive pay raise of over three percent, continuing improvements to military housing, and providing resources to support DoD [Department of Defense] research into a COVID-19 vaccine,” Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel Chairman Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, said of the passage.

The House passed the NDAA after two days of debate earlier this week, but the Trump administration raised concern with provisions to rename some Confederate-linked military institutions, impose restrictions on Afghanistan conflict funding, and “otherwise constrain the president’s authority to protect certain national security interests.”

The legislation passed by the House includes provisions to codify FedRAMP, giving the program a statutory foundation and formal standing for congressional review. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee and a sponsor of the FedRAMP bill introduced in the House last year, said the FedRAMP amendment to the NDAA would streamline Federal government cloud acquisition. The House version of the legislation also includes provisions to bolster oversight of Defense Department cyber hygiene.

Both the House and the Senate legislation passed with the two-thirds majorities necessary to override a White House veto, if that comes to pass.

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