The Senate passed the conferenced version of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, sending the $768 billion defense spending bill to President Biden’s desk for his signature. The annual defense spending bill has now been passed 61 years in a row.

The bill was approved in the Senate by an 89-10 vote. The bill passed the House Dec. 7 by a similarly bipartisan 363-70 vote. The conferenced bill broke a stalemate in the Senate over how to proceed with an amendment process.

“This is a historic, impactful, and forward-looking defense bill that will help safeguard our nation now and, in the future,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed, D-R.I., said in a Dec. 13 release.  “This NDAA prioritizes people, platforms, technology, and infrastructure to counter a range of complex and emerging threats.”

The bill includes a number of provisions designed to boost cyber capabilities and operations at Federal agencies and across the Department of Defense, as well as boosting research and development funding defense-wide by nearly 25 percent. Additionally, the bill incorporates recommendations from the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

With the FY2022 NDAA now complete, along with a vote to raise the debt limit, the Senate has now completed its list of “must-pass” legislation for the year. Whether or not the Senate begins consideration the House-passed Build Back Better reconciliation bill before the end of the year remains to be seen.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.