The 2022 National Defense Authorization (NDAA) Act passed in the House on 23 September and finally in the Senate on 15 December and was sent to the President for signature. The bill authorizes total spending of $768.2B for DOD – a 5% increase over last year. The final version of the NDAA contains provisions that support MOAA’s priorities for a Basic Needs Allowance and a 2.7% pay raise for Active Duty forces. Also included are: increases in parental and bereavement leave; another 1-year delay in medical billet cuts; changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to better address sexual harassment and assault; continued study of alternatives for expansion of Arlington National Cemetery.
MOAA’s other two priorities - Toxic Exposure and Young Adult TRICARE coverage were not included and are being addressed in separate legislation. Also not addressed was concurrent receipt of VA Disability payments and Military Retired Pay.
The NDAA is a massive bill. You can find additional details of the authorized programs on the MOAA website. Passage of the NDAA is good news, but none of its provisions requiring new spending can be implemented until Congress passes a 2022 Appropriations Bill. DOD and most other Federal Agencies are currently operating under a second Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires 18 Feb-ruary 2022. The CR restricts spending to last year’s levels. Congress will address a full Budget Bill (which would include the DOD appropriation) when they return from Christmas recess.