November 02, 2021

FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act


Background: The Senate Armed Services Committee filed the National Defense Authorization Act on September 22. The committee voted to advance the bill on July 22 by a vote of 23-3. The House version of the NDAA passed on September 2 by a vote of 316-113. The Senate NDAA is filed as amendment #3867 to H.R.4350, the House version of the NDAA.

Floor Situation: The floor situation is unclear at this time, but Majority Leader Schumer could move to this bill as early as the end of this week. After voting to proceed to the bill, the Senate would then take up the substitute amendment. Members have started to file amendments to the substitute. 

Executive Summary: The substitute supports a total of $777.9 billion in fiscal year 2022 funding for national defense. This includes $740.3 billion for the Department of Defense and $20.1 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration in the Department of Energy. The substitute authorizes a 2.7% pay increase for DOD employees, requires women to register for the Selective Service System, and extends parental leave to 12 weeks for service members. The substitute would ban the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States and prohibit closure of GTMO until December 31, 2022. It makes a number of reforms to the way the military handles sexual assault and harassment by including S.1520, the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021. The House version of the NDAA includes provisions on the handling of sexual assault that differ significantly from the Senate version. The substitute does not include an “overseas contingency” fund.


This is the first NDAA authorizing defense spending during President Biden’s administration. The fiscal year 2022 president’s budget called for $715 billion for the Department of Defense, a 1.6% increase from the fiscal year 2021 budget level. The DOD assumes 2.2% inflation in fiscal year 2022, which would mean the president’s budget would result in a cut to the department. SASC passed an amendment in markup that provides 3% real growth above the assumed inflation rate by adding $25 billion to the DOD topline for a total of $740 billion. Given that the latest indicators show inflation could top 5% for 2022, there is growing concern that the SASC increase will be insufficient to actually increase Pentagon buying power, instead simply preventing cuts due to inflation.   


Both the House and Senate NDAA authorize an approximately $25 billion dollar increase over the president’s proposed defense budget. The increase reflects bipartisan consensus that the U.S. defense budget needs additional funding to meet the threats and challenges we face. Congress has passed the NDAA for 60 years running.

America’s competitors and adversaries continue to pursue capabilities that threaten the U.S. and our allies. China marches toward fielding a modern military that can project power outside of its borders and challenge the United States. Russia continues to threaten allies in Europe and challenge U.S. forces in the region. Both countries are seeking to rapidly modernize their nuclear forces while liberals in the U.S. target our nuclear deterrence modernization. Terrorism around the globe is reinvigorated due to the Biden administration’s catastrophic retreat from Afghanistan. The president’s decisions, such as pursuing a nuclear deal with Iran, have made the world less stable and less safe. This bill authorizes the tools our service members need to meet these challenges. 


Nuclear Weapons Modernization and Missile Defense

  1. Prohibits the reduction of deployed U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles’ responsiveness, alert level, or quantity to fewer than 400.

  2. Authorizes the Missile Defense Agency to develop a highly reliable missile defense interceptor for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system.

  3. Authorizes the purchases of Iron Dome, Arrow, and David’s Sling to support Israel.

Pacific Deterrence Initiative/China

  1. Extends Pacific Deterrence Initiative authorization while providing for key modifications to match the security challenges the U.S. and allies face in the region, and funds more than $700 million in unfunded requirements in the region.

  2. Establishes ongoing briefings on China’s behavior in the region.

  3. Establishes reporting on the potential increases to U.S.-Taiwan defense cooperation.

  4. Reiterates U.S. defense commitments to Taiwan.


  1. Prohibits the use of funds for any activity that recognizes the sovereignty of the Russian Federation over Crimea.

  2. Renews authorities allowing DOD to provide security assistance and intelligence support to military and other security forces of the government of Ukraine.

  3. Renews authority for DOD to provide training for countries in Eastern Europe.

  4. Includes a sense of the Senate reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

  5. Includes a sense of the Senate that the United States should continue to prioritize support for the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.


  1. Authorizes full funding of Cyber Command.

  2. Requires DOD to assess how the department can protect the United States from ransomware.

  3. Requires DOD to assess the cyber threat landscape, our adversaries’ capabilities, and the plans the U.S. military has to conduct cyber operations during conflicts.

  4. Authorizes the development of a voluntary public-private partnership to better defend and detect cyber threats.

Combatting Sexual Assault in the Military

  1. Includes the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021, a bill to change the way the military deals with sexual assault and other serious crimes.

    1. Moves the decision to prosecute a serious crime out of the chain of command and to trained military prosecutors. The decision to prosecute misdemeanors and crimes unique to the military remains within the chain of command.

    2. Requires the secretary of defense to improve security at military lodgings with instillation of locks and security cameras.

    3. Requires improved training and education about sexual assault in the military.

  2. Language on combatting sexual assault varies significantly between the House and Senate versions of the NDAA and will likely require conference negotiations to produce any final version. 

Select Procurement, Research, and Development

  1. Detailed funding tables can be found here.


  1. $504 million for 30 AH-64 Apaches.

  2. $630 million for 24 UH-60Ms.

  3. $397 million for 11 CH-47 Chinooks, including $252 million for five aircraft to support an Army unfunded requirement.

  4. $1 billion for 187 Striker Combat Vehicle upgrades.

  5. $287 million for 23 Mobile Protected Fire vehicles.

  6. $1.4 billion for 92 M1 Abrams upgrades, including $369 million for 22 upgraded vehicles to support an Army unfunded request to update National Guard M1A2SEPv3.


  1. $2.6 billion for 25 F-35Cs, including $535 million to add five aircraft above the president’s request.

  2. $2.3 billion for 17 F-35Bs.

  3. $1.5 billion for 11 CH-53Ks.

  4. $1.1 billion for 12 V-22s, including $372 million for four additional aircraft above the president’s request.

  5. $1.1 billion for 11 KC-130Js, including $535 million for five additional aircraft above the president’s request.

  6. $4.2 billion for two Virginia class submarines.

  7. $3.7 billion for two Arleigh Burke class destroyers, including an increase of $1.7 billion for an extra ship over the president’s request.

  8. $4.8 billion for the Columbia class submarine program.

  9. $1.1 billion for one FFG-Frigate.

Air Force

  1. $4.4 billion for 49 F-35As, including $175 million for an unfunded requirement for power units and $85 million for one additional aircraft.

  2. $1.8 billion for 17 F-15EX, including $576 million including five additional aircraft above the president’s request.

  3. $2.4 billion for 14 KC-46A refueling aircraft.

  4. $128 million for one C-130J.

  5. $220 million for three MC-130Js.

  6. $792 million for 14 combat rescue helicopters.

  7. $2.6 billion in for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program.

  8. $1.5 billion in R and D for Next Generation Air Dominance program.

Space Force

  1. $1.3 billion for five national security space launch systems.

  2. $601 million for Global Positioning System III follow-on.

  3. $3.3 billion for Space Force system development and demonstration.

  4. $1.6 billion in advanced component and development prototype R and D funding for technologies including space situational awareness, domain control, advanced communications, and related technologies and systems.


  1. $361 million for 30 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems, including $109 million for 12 additional systems above the president’s request

  2. $117 million for defense of Guam procurement, including $77 million in additional funds for the Guam defense system.

  3. $745 million in R and D for the ballistic missile defense midcourse defense segment.

  4. $926 million in R and D funding for improved homeland defense interceptors.

  5. $509 million in R and D funding for the Trusted and Assured Microelectronics program.


The administration has not released a statement of administration policy.


The Congressional Budget Office has not released a cost estimate.


Amendment votes are expected. Members have begun to file amendments. Those can be found on the website of the Senate’s Legislative Information Systems or at the amendment tracker run by the Republican Policy Committee.