On March 26, 2020, H.R.6395, the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 was introduced in
the House of Representatives.
July 9, 2020, it was reported by the House Committee on Armed
Services, with H. Rpt. 116-442.
On July 21, 2020, H. R. 6395, Passed
the House of Representatives.
On June 23, 2020, S. 4049, the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, was introduced
in the Senate.
On June 24, 2020, S. 4049, was reported
by the Senate Committee on Armed Services with S. Rpt. 116-236.
On July 23, 2020, S. 4049, passed the
On November 16, 2020, the Senate passed
H.R.6395 by deleting all of H. R. 6395 and replacing it with its
amendment which was S. 4049.
A conference between the House and the
Senate was held and Conference Report H. Rpt. 116-617 was filed
on December 3, 2020.
On December 8, 2020, the Conference
Report was agreed to in the House.
On December 11, 2020, the Conference
Report was agreed to in the Senate.
On December 23, 2020, H. R. 6395, the
William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act
for Fiscal Year 2021, was vetoed.
On December 28, 2020, the veto was
overridden in the House.
On January 1, 2021, the veto was
overridden in the Senate.
This analysis begins with Title VIII
which annually contains the main contracting related sections.
There may be other sections sprinkled throughout the law. Additionally this year, there is TITLE
XVIII--TRANSFER AND REORGANIZATION OF DEFENSE ACQUISITION
STATUTES. That Title explains itself. It exists
because of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying
Acquisition Regulations, established by the Congress under
section 809 of the National Defense Authorization
Act for 2016 (Public Law 114-92).
These sections are listed on a page which appears to be a
table of contents. That is
where the analysis begins. Each section is linked to
another page which shows the section of the NDAA on the left and
the sections of congressional reports of the right. The
top-listed report is the Conference Report which is voted on in
both Houses of Congress after all congressional arguments are
ironed out. Since both Houses of Congress voted on the
Conference Report, in theory, it is the best source of
congressional intent. Congressional intent may exist,
at times, when a Court tries to figure out what Congress meant
in a section of the NDAA. You can also use the Conference
Report to settle arguments in your office, or between
colleagues, as to what a section means. Just remember,
congressional intent is a theory that exists that may have a
stronger place in reality than the Easter Bunny.
After the Conference Report you may notice
one or two other Reports mentioned under it. In the second
session of the 116th Congress, each House of Congress, as usual,
passed its own NDAA, H.R. 6395 in the House and S. 4049 in the
Senate. Each of those bills was reported out of its own
Armed Services Committee with a report. In this case, H.
R. 6395 was accompanied by H. Rpt. 116-442 and S. 4049
was accompanied by S. Rpt. 116-236. If the
Conference Report mentions a section of the Senate or House bill
as a source for the section of the law, it is listed as a
possible explanation of that section of a bill in the House or
Senate and added under the Conference Report.
After H. Rpt. 116-442 and S. Rpt. 116-236
were issued in the first half of 2020, both bills which they
accompanied were amended several or many times before the bills
were passed in their respective Houses of Congress. If that was
the case, you will not find a mention of it under the Conference
Report. However, you might still be able to search for and
find a reason that the section of a bill exists because it may
be mentioned with comments from its sponsor in the Congressional
Record.. If you find something about a section mentioned
in the Congressional Record you are there for your own personal