A U.S. congressional conference committee between the Senate and House of Representatives reached a deal today on the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2015. The NDAA is a bill passed by Congress annually to authorize and regulate U.S. defense spending.
According to a summary released by Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), the bill would provide an additional $40 million for upgrades to the current Ground Based Interceptors (GBI) deployed in Alaska and California. This amount is in addition to the Ground Based Midcourse Defense funding requested in the President’s budget.
It would also authorize $350 million for Iron Dome procurement for the defense of Israel – double the $175 million requested by the President in his budget, and over four times more than the additional funding for U.S. homeland missile defense. The bill does require that 55% of these funds be spent on Iron Dome components produced in the United States.
The deal dropped a house requirement passed this past May to accelerate the deployment of U.S. Aegis Ashore Missile Defense site to Poland by 2016 instead of 2018. There were other key Missile Defense provisions dropped from the House in the conference committee version. These included a requirement to deploy THAAD and Patriot batteries to Eastern Europe, as well as an additional $40 million dollars to fund the ongoing study of a third Ground Based Interceptor site in the eastern United States.
The bill will now move to the full House and Senate for a vote, before making its way to the President’s desk for signature.