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H.R. 6395 (116th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 9, 2020.

William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

This bill authorizes FY2021 appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Defense (DOD) programs and activities, including military personnel strengths. It does not provide budget authority, which is provided in subsequent appropriations legislation.

The bill authorizes appropriations to DOD for

Procurement, including aircraft, weapons and tracked combat vehicles, shipbuilding and conversion, and missiles; Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation; Operation and Maintenance; Working Capital Funds; Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction; Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities; the Defense Inspector General; the National Defense Sealift Fund; the Defense Health Program; the Armed Forces Retirement Home; the Space Force; Overseas Contingency Operations; and Military Construction. The bill also authorizes the FY2021 personnel strengths for active duty and reserve forces and sets forth policies regarding

military personnel; acquisition policy and management; international programs; National Guard and Reserve Force facilities; compensation and other personnel benefits; health care; matters relating to COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019); DOD organization and management; civilian personnel matters; matters relating to foreign nations; and strategic programs, cyber, and intelligence matters. The bill authorizes appropriations for base realignment and closure activities, and maritime matters.

The bill authorizes appropriations and sets forth policies for Department of Energy national security programs, including the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The bill also sets forth policies regarding certain federal activities related to artificial intelligence, including implementation by the President of a National Artificial Intelligence Initiative to support research and development, education, and training programs.