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.