On April 9, 2014,
H. R. 4435, one version of the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (NDAA)
was introduced in the House of Representatives. On May 13,
2014, it was reported, amended, and renamed the Howard P.
'Buck' McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
H. Rpt 113-446. After many amendments were offered and
accepted as a group with little discussion, H. R. 4435 passed the House
on May 22, 2004 and spent the next 6 months or so gathering dust
in the Senate.
While the House was
doing its thing, on June 2, 2014, the Chairman of the Senate
Committee on Armed Services introduced and
S. 2410, the Carl Levin National Defense Authorization Act for
Fiscal Year 2015 with
S. Rpt. 113-176. It too gathered dust for about 5 months
in another corner of the Senate.
While this was going on, the House passed
H. R. 3979, entitled the Protecting Volunteer
Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act on March 11, 2004.
The Senate grabbed H. R. 3979, amended it and replaced it with
the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2014,
and passed it on April 7, 2014. Not to be outdone, the
House re-hijacked H. R. 3979, as amended by the Senate and
re-amended it with the Carl Levin and Howard P. 'Buck'
McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
and passed it on December 4, 2014. Remember the date it
passed the House! On December 17, the
Senate passed the Carl Levin and Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015.
It was signed by the President as P. L. 113-291, on December 19,
2014. In Section 5 of the the final version of H. R. 3979, much like last year, there
was an explanatory statement provided that read:
The explanatory statement regarding
this Act, printed in the House section of the Congressional
Record on or about December 3, 2014, by the Chairman of the
Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives
and the Chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the
Senate, shall have the same effect with respect to the
implementation of this Act as if it were a joint explanatory
statement of a committee of conference.
The explanatory statement appears in the
December 4, 2014 issue of the Congressional Record. That is
the date the agreement was reached between a few members and
senators from the
House and the Senate. If you do an analysis of the
explanatory statement, it appears that some sections came from
the Senate and House versions of the NDAA and
H. R. 1232, the Federal Information Technology
Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). So, there you have it--another
hodgepodge of contracting legislation. So much for the legislative process as
we once knew it.
The starting point for your review is
the NDAA Contents linked above. That lists the sections
selected from P. L. 113-291. The individual
sections are in the left column of the analyses pages.
In the right column, the corresponding section from the
explanatory statement is listed first.
After that, the sections from
the House and/or Senate Reports that are named in the
explanatory statement are listed. In some cases,
additional information was added. Since several sections
were added to the final bill with little or no discussion, the
right hand column will only include information from the
explanatory statement in many cases.
If you thought that Congress is tired of "perfecting" the
federal contracting process, fear not! In at least 2
sections of the Legislative
Provisions Not Adopted the explanatory statement notes:
We express our intent to address program
manager tenure in next year's National Defense Authorization Act
in the context of a larger DOD acquisition reform effort.