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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010

(P. L. 111-)

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How To Use the DHNDAA 2009 Suite of Pages

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (NDAA) was passed by both Houses of Congress during September 2009.  On October 7, 2009, the House Conference Report was filed.  Unlike last year, much of this NDAA can be tracked to the Conference Report and then to an Armed Services Committee report.  In some cases, sections of this NDAA were passed in the House or Senate through amendments that were adopted as part of a group of amendments.  In these instances, the NDAA section cannot be tracked back to an Armed Services Committee report.

How To Use the NDAA 2010 Suite of Pages

The Contents page provides links to the Conference Report and the Armed Services Committees' reports.  There were 2 competing pieces of legislation ― S. 1390 and H. R. 2647.  Both bills were passed by their respective branches of Congress.  However, H. R. 2647 became the final bill since the Senate passed it by crossing out the House's version of H. R. 2647 and putting the text of S. 1390 in its place.  This is referred to as the "Senate Amendment in the Conference Report."

As always, the "sectional analysis" list page provide the text of the sections of the NDAA in the the left column and the reports in the right column.  The reports are listed with the "explanatory" section of the Conference Report appearing first and then the House or Senate Armed Services Committee Reports appearing in the order mentioned in the Conference Report.  If you could not find an Armed Services Committee Report, I could not find the section due to a later amendment or an oversight.

Under the best of circumstances, I recommend not trying to identify congressional intent. In all probability, only a small part of Congress knew what was in the Conference Report when they voted on it.  In using these pages, pay most attention to the section of the NDAA.  Then look at the Conference Report for its explanation.  If you see an Armed Services Committee Report explanation listed, it means that section of the NDAA was originally formed in an Armed Services Committee.  It may have been amended since it left the Committee but that is where it was originally formed.  In the end, the reports might help explain a section of the law or give you an idea of the source of the section.

Of all the sections of the Conference Report, the most important may be explaining a section of legislation that was not adopted as part of the NDAA.  As you may know, the Comptroller General attempted to clarify the precedence of some socioeconomic programs through a series of bid protests.  The Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, in August, told Executive agencies to ignore the Comptroller General and follow the regulations of the Small Business Administration.  In a section dealing with "Small business contracting programs parity," the Conference Report explains how things are intended to work.  The Comptroller General, knowing where his agency's bread is buttered, also knows when to back off.  So, that is that.



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