The White House on July 9 released a lengthy list of concerns it has with the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2500) set for debate in the House, and said the current bill would likely earn a veto recommendation from President Trump’s advisors. The list of issues that concern the White House runs to several dozen items, and in all likelihood does more to stake out negotiating positions rather than present a list of eventual deal killers.

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Among the list of concerns is a provision detailing the delegation of authorities to the Secretary of Defense for military operations in cyberspace, and the obligation to share cyber military operations plans with Congress.

The White House said it opposes the provision “as it would require the Secretary of Defense to provide Congress with operationally sensitive documents regarding authorities delegated by the President to the Secretary for military operations in cyberspace, including execute orders, a list of countries in which such authorities might be exercised, and defined military objectives for the use of such authorities.”

“This provision would interfere with the established process for military operations in cyberspace, unduly hinder cyber operations, and contravene the President’s constitutional prerogative not to disclose privileged information, including national security information,” the White House said.

On the plus side, the White House said it strongly supports Section 852 of the bill that would direct the Secretary of Defense “to award telecommunications services and infrastructure contracts only to allowed contractors.”

“This provision will improve security on outlying United States national security installations by removing a potential vulnerability from United States systems and will encourage reciprocity in government procurement practices,” the White House said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.