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Defense Authorization Bill Clears Senate, House Committees

Senate Armed Services

On June 28, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved, 27-0, the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (as-yet-unnumbered). The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel approved its portion of the bill in a closed session on June 27.

According to the committee summary, the bill would authorize $640 billion in FY2018 for the Department of Defense (DoD) and national security programs at the Department of Energy (DoE). The legislation also would authorize $60 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) for a total of $700 billion in discretionary funding. Included in this amount is $141.5 billion for military personnel and $33.7 billion for the Defense Health Program. In addition, the bill would allocate $25 million in supplemental impact aid for local education agencies with military dependent children and $10 million in aid for schools that teach military dependent children with severe disabilities.

The legislation would create a new section under the Uniform Code of Military Justice that “prohibits the distribution of a photo or video of the private area of a person or of sexually explicit conduct that was recorded without consent and distributed by someone who knew or should have known there was no consent to distribute.”

The bill also addresses the issue of child care for military families by seeking to increase the number of qualified child care workers, as well as improve the flexibility of operating hours for child care facilities in order to accommodate the needs of military families.

House Armed Services

On June 28, the House Committee on Armed Services approved, 60-1, H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2018. The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel approved its portion of the bill on June 22 (see The Source, 6/23/17).

According to the committee summary, the legislation would authorize $592.8 billion in funding for DoD and $20.8 billion for national security programs at DoE. In addition, $64.6 billion would be allocated for OCO and $10 billion for OCO base requirements. The base amount includes $133.882 billion for military personnel and $33.664 billion for the Defense Health program.

As amended, the bill would require the DoD’s annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) report to include information regarding sexual assault committed by a service member against a spouse or intimate partner, as well as information regarding reports of sexual harassment and incidents of nonconsensual distribution of private sexual images.

Additional details will be provided once the reports from the committees are released.

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