Yesterday evening the House Rules Committee finished theirwork on the rule for the final consideration of HR 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. The House completed the general debate portion of the consideration of the bill yesterday and the amendment process will begin today. The rule establishes a structured debate with only 126 amendments that can be considered on the floor during the consideration of this bill on the floor of the House.
There are only two of the amendments that may be considered that might be of specific interest to readers of this blog. The first (#19) requires DOD to submit a report to Congress:
“(T)hat assesses the degree to which existing defense capabilities are able to detect, identify, and potentially disable remotely piloted aircraft within special use and restricted airspace. Requires the Secretary to identify how existing research and development Department resources can be leveraged to strengthen our nation’s ability to detect, identify, and disable unidentified or potentially malicious remotely piloted aircraft”
The second is a cyber security related amendment (#34) that amends an existing DOD contractor beach notification rule to specifically allow sharing of that breach information with entities for purposes of “cybersecurity, national security, and law enforcement”.
Each amendment must be offered in the order listed. There will be up to 10 minutes of debate on each amendment. At some point in the debate the remaining amendments may be considered en bloc with a single vote. The House is currently scheduled to be in session until Friday afternoon with the last vote to be completed by 3:00 pm EDT. While that ‘last vote’ will not necessarily be HR 1735, it very easily could be.
NOTE: The Senate is still working on their version of the NDA. That bill and this one will have to be reconciled in conference committee. We are a long way from seeing what will be in the final bill and there are no assurances that the President will sign the first pass at this legislation.