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H.R. 1735: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016

Jun 18, 2015 at 1:46 p.m. ET. On Passage of the Bill in the Senate.

This was a vote to pass H.R. 1735 (114th) in the Senate. 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.

It was not the final Senate vote on the bill. See the history of H.R. 1735 (114th) for further details.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 is a comprehensive defense spending bill. At almost 1,000 pages long it will direct funding for procurement, research, and operation of defense technology, establish military policy, and address other matters pertaining to national defense. It has been passed by the House with 19 amendments, and is currently being reviewed by the Senate with 333 amendments proposed.

Unfortunately GovTrack does not have the staff to summarize the contents of the whole bill and all proposed amendments. We have instead included summaries of recent amendments agreed to and rejected on June 4.

Agreed to:

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) proposed an amendment to “allow for $371 million to support research and development and procurement of 81 Stryker vehicles with an upgraded weapon system. These vehicles would serve the only armored brigade currently in Europe.” (Press release)

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) proposed an amendment to relocate nine upgraded C-130H aircrafts to Pope Airfield at Fort Bragg. (Press release)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposed an amendment “that prohibits the Department of Defense from spending taxpayer dollars to honor American soldiers at sporting events.” (Press release)

Rejected:

Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) proposed an amendment to extend veterans’ benefits to same-sex married couples. (Press release)

Totals

All Votes R D I
Yea 74%
 
 
 
71
49
 
21
 
1
 
Nay 26%
 
 
 
25
2
 
22
 
1
 
Not Voting
 
 
 
4
3
 
1
 
0
 

Bill Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source: senate.gov.

The Yea votes represented 64% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

Ideology Vote Chart

Key:
Republican - Yea Democrat - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
Seat position based on our ideology score.

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Vote Details

Notes: “Aye” or “Yea”?
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Statistically Notable Votes

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

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Study Guide

How well do you understand this vote? Use this study guide to find out.

You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the bill this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

    This vote is related to a bill. However, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. Congress makes many decisions in the process of passing legislation, such as on the procedures for debating the bill, whether to change the bill before voting on passage, and even whether to vote on passage at all.

    You can learn more about the various motions used in Congress at EveryCRSReport.com. If you aren’t sure what the Senate was voting on, try seeing if it’s on this list.

  3. What is the next step after this vote?
  4. Take a look at where this bill is in the legislative process. What might come next? Keep in mind what this specific vote was on, and the context of the bill. Will there be amendments? Will the other chamber of Congress vote on it, or let it die?

    For this question it may help to briefly examine the bill itself.

What is your analysis of this vote?

  1. What trends do you see in this vote?
  2. Members of Congress side together for many reasons beside being in the same political party, especially so for less prominent legislation or legislation specific to a certain region. What might have determined how the roll call came out in this case? Does it look like Members of Congress voted based on party, geography, or some other reason?

  3. How did your senators vote?
  4. There are two votes here that should be more important to you than all the others. These are the votes cast by your senators, which are meant to represent you and your community. Do you agree with how your senators voted? Why do you think they voted the way they did?

    If you don’t already know who your Members of Congress are you can find them by entering your address here.

  5. How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
  6. GovTrack displays the percentage of the United States population represented by the yeas on some Senate votes just under the vote totals. We do this to highlight how the people of the United States are represented in the Senate. Since each state has two senators, but state populations vary significantly, the individuals living in each state have different Senate representation. For example, California’s population of near 40 million is given the same number of senators as Wyoming’s population of about 600,000.

    Do the senators who voted yea represent a majority of the people of the United States? Does it matter?

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