The Senate this afternoon convened to discuss H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), which is headed for a vote later tonight and is expected to be approved. […]

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Trump on Friday gives a sizable boost to the Department of Defense, including a respectable 2.4 percent pay raise for DoD personnel, and for now at least gets Pentagon leaders off the frustrating, and at times wasteful, treadmill of continuing resolutions. And, while the bill doesn’t get into specifics about critical efforts such as cyber operations and artificial intelligence, it does continue programs DoD has underway.






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Once again, Washington is racing toward a shutdown. In what is becoming practically a monthly political exercise, Republicans and Democrats are unable to come to an agreement on how to fund the government. If a compromise isn’t reached, the shutdown will start Friday, Jan. 19 at 11:59 p.m.






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The MGT Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund–cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee–that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he plans to track the IT modernization working capital fund, which will come from his Modernization Government Technology Act, on the FITARA scorecard.






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Federal agencies are expected to submit their budget requests to Congress in September, detailing the funding they’ll need to meet their missions for fiscal year 2018. One trend that Congress can expect to see is requests for AI applications to automate cybersecurity processes, according to Thomas Jones, Federal systems engineer at Bay Dynamics.






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If Federal agencies invest upfront in technologies to track fraud and improper payments, the government could end up saving enough money to pay back some of the national debt or stave off sequestration, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.






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President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget, released on May 23, provides for $228 million of IT modernization funding through the General Services Administration, as laid out in the Modernizing Government Technology Act that passed the House last week.






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