What is the National Defence Authorisation Act (US)?

Introduction

The National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) is the name for each of a series of United States federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defence.

The first NDAA was passed in 1961. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the National Defence Authorisation Act and defence appropriations bills. The authorisation bill is the jurisdiction of the Senate Armed Services Committee and House Armed Services Committee and determines the agencies responsible for defence, establishes recommended funding levels, and sets the policies under which money will be spent. The appropriations bill provides funds.

The passage of a Defence Authorisation Act is often used by Congress to honour a senior congress member or other individual. For example, the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2001 is known as the “Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001” in honour of Representative Floyd D. Spence of South Carolina.

Legislation from 2007 Onwards

  • John Warner National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Pub. L. 109–364 (text) (PDF), this NDAA is formally named after John Warner, a US war veteran, long-term Senator, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, and Secretary of the Navy from Virginia.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Pub. L. 110–181 (text) (PDF).
  • Duncan Hunter National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2009: “expresses the sense of Congress that the Honourable Duncan Hunter, Representative from California, has discharged his official duties with integrity and distinction, has served the House of Representatives and the American people selflessly, and deserves the sincere gratitude of Congress and the Nation”. Title 8, Subtitle G: Governmentwide Acquisition Improvements, is known as the “Clean Contracting Act”, and focused on improvements to government procurement such as limiting the term of non-competitive contracts to one year (section 862) and prohibiting excessive use by contractors of sub-contractors or “tiers of sub-contractors” (section 866).
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Pub. L. 111–84 (text) (PDF), this NDAA contains important hate crimes legislation.
  • Ike Skelton National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2011, Pub. L. 111–383 (text) (PDF), this NDAA is formally named after Ike Skelton, a long-term Congressman and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee from Missouri.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2012, Pub. L. 112–81 (text) (PDF), this NDAA contains several controversial sections, the chief being §§ 1021-1022, which affirm provisions authorising the indefinite military detention of civilians, including US citizens, without habeas corpus or due process, contained in the Authorisation for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107–40 (text) (PDF).
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
  • The National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (H.R. 3304; NDAA 2014) was a US federal law that specified the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence (DOD) for Fiscal Year 2014. The law authorised the DOD to spend $607 billion in Fiscal Year 2014. On 26 December 2013, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law. This was the 53rd consecutive year that a National Defence Authorisation Act has been passed.
  • The Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2015 was one of the proposed NDAA bills for fiscal year 2015. On 08 May 2014, the House Armed Services Committee ordered the bill reported (amended) by a vote of 61-0. The Committee spent 12 hours debating the bill and voting on hundreds of different amendments before voting to pass it.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2016.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
  • John S. McCain National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2019, this NDAA is formally named after John S. McCain III, a US war veteran, prisoner of war, long-term Senator, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2020, this NDAA formally established the United States Space Force as an independent branch of the Armed Forces.
  • William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2021, this NDAA is formally named after William McClellan “Mac” Thornberry, a long-term Congressman, and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.
  • National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
  • James M. Inhofe National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2023, named after James M. Inhofe, a long-term Senator, and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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