Summary of House Armed Services Committee Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Bill

The bill totals $696.5 billion, including $631.5 billion for base requirements and $65 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The bill was approved by the House Armed Services Committee on June 28, 2017 by a 60-1 vote.

The measure is likely to be considered on the House floor the week of July 10.

The Senate passed its version of the bill on June 29. That bill authorizes a total of $700 billion for defense, including $632 billion for the Pentagon and Department of Energy nuclear programs plus $60 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). The timing of that bill is uncertain.

This bill has passed Congress for 55 years and the two Armed Services Committees are determined to make it 56 years.

Key provisions on nuclear weapons and missile defense issues

Below is a summary of significant provisions that the Center is following:

  • Limits Funds to Extend New START (Sec. 1246)
    • No funding can be used to extend the Russia-U.S. arms control agreement known as New START beyond 2021 until the President certifies that Russia has destroyed all missiles that are in violation of INF Treaty.
    • Cooper’s (D-TN) amendment to remove this provision was defeated in the Strategic Forces Subcommittee by voice vote.
  • Limitations on Nuclear Weapon Dismantlement (Sec. 3114)
    • Extends a provision from the Fiscal Year 2017 NDAA that caps funding for nuclear weapon dismantlement at $56 million for FY19 through FY21.
    • This provision would not affect the status of retired weapons.
    • Cooper’s (D-TN) amendment striking this provision in the Strategic Forces Subcommittee failed by voice vote.
  • Limitation on Availability of Funds Relating to Implementation of the Open Skies Treaty (Sec. 1235)
    • No funds can be used to conduct a surveillance flight by the United States unless the President submits a plan for all planned flights that year.
    • No funds may be used to modify U.S. aircraft to implement the Open Skies Treaty.


  • Establishment of a Space Corps in the Department of the Air Force (Sec. 1601
    • Secretary of Air Force must certify establishment of a Space Corps by January 1, 2019.
    • The mission of the Space Corps includes training and equipping combat-ready space forces to fight and win wars.
    • The relationship between the Space Corps and Air Force would function similar to the Marine Corps and Navy – separate entities led by the same civilian leadership.
    • The Secretary of the Air Force has publicly opposed this provision.
  • Space-Based Sensor Layer for Ballistic Missile Defense (Sec. 1689)
    • Requires the Director of the Missile Defense Agency to provide within one year of the Fiscal Year 2018 NDAA’s enactment a plan for developing and deploying a space-based sensor layer for ballistic missile defense.
  • Space-based missile defense system (Sec. 1690)
    • Requires development of a space-based ballistic missile intercept layer as part of the ballistic missile defense system.
    • Requires a report on this system’s requirements, conceptual designs, technology readiness, critical technical and operational issues, cost, schedule, and performances estimates, and risk reduction plans.
  • Restriction of Nuclear Security Cooperation with Russia (Sec. 3117)
    • No funds may be used to cooperation with Russia on nuclear security initiatives
    • The Secretary of Energy has waiver authority if the threat “arising in the Russian Federation must be addressed urgently and that it is necessary to waive the prohibition to address the threat.”
  • Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs (Sec. 4701)

Global material security

(In thousands of $)

Request  | Authorized     

  46,339  |  46,339     International nuclear security

146,340  | 146,340    Radiological security

144,429  | 139,429    Nuclear smuggling detection

337,108  | 332,108   Total, Global material security

Other Major Issues

Army end strength: 486,000

Increases the size of the Army by 10,000, the Army National Guard by 4,000 and the Army reserve by 3,000

Navy end strength: 327,900

Air Force end strength: 325,100

Marines end strength: 185,000

Pay raise: 2.4% rather than the requested 2.1%

F-35 aircraft – 70 requested, 87 authorized

F/A-18 aircraft – 14 requested, 22 authorized

V-22 aircraft – 6 requested, 10 authorized

DDG-51 destroyer – 2 requested, 3 authorized

Littoral Combat Ship – 1 requested, 3 authorized

Adds $2.5 billion for missile defense

Additional provisions

Guantanamo Bay Prison: Prohibits the use of funds for transfer or release of individuals detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States or modifying U.S. facilities to receive the prisoners. (Secs. 1022 & 1023)

Afghanistan: Requires the Pentagon to submit a long-term strategy for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. (Sec. 1212)

Syria: Requires the Pentagon to submit a report on the U.S. strategy in Syria, including a description of the key security and geo-political interests, objectives, and long-term goals in Syria and indicators for the effectiveness of efforts to achieve such objectives and goals. (Sec. 1221)

Countering Iran: Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should counter the Islamic Republic of Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East; maintain a capable military presence in the Arabian Gulf region to deter, and, if necessary, respond to Iranian aggression; strengthen ballistic missile defense capabilities; ensure freedom of navigation through the Bab al Mandab and the Strait of Hormuz; and, renew focus on countering Iranian efforts to illicitly proliferate weapons in the region. (Sec. 1224)

U.S.-Russian military cooperation: Renews last year’s limit of the use of funds for bilateral military-to-military cooperation between the the United States and the Russian Federation. (Sec. 1231)

Crimea: Prohibits recognition of Russia’s sovereignty over Crimea. (Sec. 1232)

Countering Russia: Recommends confronting Russian aggression by increasing U.S. permanently and temporarily stationed in Europe, prepositioned military equipment, and unconventional methods of warfare such as cyber. (Sec. 1233)

Assistance to Ukraine: Authorizes $150 million to provide security assistance and intelligence support to the Government of Ukraine. (Sec. 1234)

Chemical weapons destruction: Authorizes $961.7 million for chemical agents and munitions destruction. (Sec. 1402)

National Defense Sealift Fund:  Authorizes $516.3 million for the National Defense Sealift Fund to pay for icebreakers (Secs. 1011 & 1012)

Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks: Establishes a “Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks and Events.” (Sec. 1699B)

Nuclear warhead costs: Requires an independent cost estimate or review at various phases of warhead life extension programs, with the results submitted to Congress. (Sec. 3113)

Naval nuclear fuel: Bars spending to plan or carry out research and development of an advanced naval nuclear fuel system based on low-enriched uranium with some exceptions. (Sec. 3116)

MOX: Requires the Secretary of Energy to carry out construction and project support activities for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility. Provides a waiver for the Secretary of Energy, pending certification that there is an alternate, viable option that minimizes risks and that it costs half the remaining lifecycle costs of the MOX system. (Sec. 3119)

Climate Change: In full committee markup, adopted by voice vote Langevin (D-RI) amendment stating that climate change is a direct threat to the national security of the United

States and mandating a report from the Secretary of Defense on the vulnerability of military installations and combatant commander requirements to climate change. (Sec. 336)

No funding for border wall: In full committee markup, adopted by voice vote Gallego (D-AZ) amendment prohibiting the Pentagon from spending any funds on a wall along any U.S. international border. (Sec. 1039)


Full House Armed Services Committee bill can be found at: