Congress continues to negotiate the final fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act to authorize Defense Department programs. Congressional leaders aim to produce a final bill before August.
The negotiators, also known as the Conference Committee, are members of the House and Senate armed services committees. They are responsible for formulating one final bill based on versions of the NDAA passed by the House and Senate. The final bill will be voted on by the House and Senate, and, if approved, sent to the president to be signed into law.
The NGAUS legislative staff is engaging with the Conference Committee to ensure provisions beneficial to the National Guard are included in the final legislation. As part of this effort, retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, sent a letter to the leaders of the armed services committees in both chambers requesting several provisions favorable to the Guard, including key NGAUS priorities, be included.
Congress is also working on appropriations legislation, which provides funding for DoD. The House passed its appropriations bill June 28 and approved $674.6 billion in total defense spending. Keep in mind, those funding levels and examples cited below are passed by the House only and are subject to change before final passage. House funding levels would provide:
- A 2.6 percent military personnel pay raise;
- $421.0 million for the Army Guard and $421.0 million for the Air Guard in the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA);
- New Apache and Black Hawk helicopters for the Army Guard;
- C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for the Air Guard; and
- Funding for:
- The Army National Guard Humvee Modernization Program;
- A-10, C-130H, and F-15C modernization;
- Continuation of JSTARS recapitalization; and
- The National Guard Counterdrug Program and Counterdrug Training Centers, the National Guard State Partnership Program, and National Guard Youth ChalleNGe.