Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy released their choices to serve as conferees to negotiate the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the Fiscal Year 2020. The 2020 defense budget will be the first one completely developed by President Donald Trump’s administration.
Rep. Scott Peters was a California House Representative picked by Pelosi
“The Democrat Conferees will ensure the FY 2020 NDAA maintains key Democratic priorities including a pay raise for our brave men and women in uniform, life-saving support for veterans and military families and any defense funds from being used to build the President’s ineffective border wall,” said Pelosi.
McCarthy, who chose Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA-22) to be on the House-Senate Conference Committee as an outside conferee said, “I am confident the House and Senate will come together to find compromise on such an incredibly important bill, one that will help deliver the Department of Defense the resources and capabilities it needs to carry out its mission of defending the United States and our national security interests around the globe.”
Rep. Nunes was not available for comment but he also serves on the Permanent Selection Committee on Intelligence.
“I thank Pelosi for recognizing the deep connection between San Diego and our national defense. I will advocate for military readiness, renewable energy programs in the Department of Defense, and supporting our service members and their families. I also look forward to ensuring that we make fiscally responsible decisions that will support a 21st-century force facing new and dynamic threats,” said Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-52) whose district is heavily invested in the military.
According to the Heritage Foundation, this year NDAA is also the first defense budget to be fully informed by the January 2018 National Defense Strategy.
The NDAA in 2020 is about rebuilding the military and every branch of the service have expressed it is imperative to increase their size and capabilities to stay competitive.
Rep. Peters who worked as an environmental lawyer for 15 years, joins the negotiation as a representative of the Budget Committee. Members are appointed from various congressional committees to offer approval for portions of the NDAA that fall under their committee’s jurisdiction, bringing their expertise to the conversation.
The process of rebuilding a nations military can takes years and previous Secretary of Defense James Mattis discussed the Department of Defense (DOD) budget in 2017, “We didn’t get into this situation in one year. Congress has a responsibility to raise armies and sustain navies, but we can’t do that in a year, it’s unrealistic,” Mattis said in 2017 at the House Armed Forced Committee they need sustained growth in fiscal years 2019-2023.
The conferees will meet to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA. Among other things, the NDAA approves funding to train, equip, and support our military service members, their families, and surviving spouses. The bill has been passed by Congress for the last 58 straight years.
This conference committee is the final step for the defense policy bill before it receives an up-or-down vote in each chamber and is sent to President Donald J. Trump for his signature.