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H.R. 6395: William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

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To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2021 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

The bill’s titles are written by its sponsor.

The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. This is an authorization bill, which directs how federal funds should or should not be used. (It does not set overall spending limits, however, which are the subject of appropriations bills.) Authorizations are typically made for single fiscal years (October 1 through September 30 of the next year) but are often renewed in subsequent law.

Sponsor and status

Adam Smith

Sponsor. Representative for Washington's 9th congressional district. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Aug 5, 2020
Length: 3470 pages
Mar 26, 2020
116th Congress (2019–2021)

Passed House (Senate next) on Jul 21, 2020

This bill passed in the House on July 21, 2020 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

80% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details)

Position statements

What legislators are saying

Gardner Introduces Legislation to Create NOAA Artificial Intelligence Center
    — Sen. Cory Gardner [R-CO] on Oct 1, 2020

McAdams urges agreement to block funding for explosive nuclear weapons testing in final defense bill
    — Rep. Ben McAdams [D-UT4] on Oct 28, 2020

Bennet Urges Congressional Leadership to Preserve Military Diversity and Inclusion Provisions in NDAA
    — Sen. Michael Bennet [D-CO] on Sep 2, 2020

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates H.R. 6395 will save $9.9 billion through 2030.


Mar 26, 2020

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Jun 22, 2020
Considered by Strategic Forces

A committee held a hearing or business meeting about the bill.

Jun 23, 2020
Considered by Tactical Air and Land Forces

A committee held a hearing or business meeting about the bill.

Jul 1, 2020
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

Jul 7, 2020
Text Published

Updated bill text was published as of Preprint (Rule).

Jul 21, 2020
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next.

If this bill has further action, the following steps may occur next:
Passed Senate

Signed by the President

H.R. 6395 is a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 6395. This is the one from the 116th Congress.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 6395 — 116th Congress: William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.” 2020. October 30, 2020 <>

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GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.