Senate passes 2022 defense authorization bill

The Senate passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, 88-11, authorizing $740 billion for Defense Department spending, and $28 billion for other national security programs.

The Senate has passed the massive 2022 defense policy, authorizing nearly $768 billion in defense spending. The bill now heads to the White House for presidential approval.

The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate approved 88-11, authorizes $740 billion in spending for the Defense Department and includes several provisions aimed at improving it’s cybersecurity posture, reforming the budget process, and expanding the federal tech workforce with dedicated software engineering and data science career paths. The House of Representatives approved the bill Dec. 7.

The compromise bill, which increased topline spending levels $25 million over what the Biden administration asked, also includes a ban on buying personal protective equipment made in China, Russia, North Korea or Iran as well as a required review on artificial intelligence applications being used throughout the department and a plan for how they can improve DOD’s performance.

On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed the nominations for several key defense positions on Dec. 14, including John Sherman to be the Defense Department’s CIO and Nickolas Guertin to be director of operational test and evaluation.

During his confirmation hearing in October, Sherman said he expected to make changes to the department’s cybersecurity program for contractors to make it easier on small businesses and potentially adopt a “cybersecurity-as-a-service” model. The final 2022 defense policy bill supports those goals, requiring DOD to assess the program’s impact on small businesses and submit plans for the program based on results of the recent internal reviews of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program earlier this year.

NEXT STORY: JWCC is not a cloud 'competition'