The Senate on Dec. 14 voted to invoke cloture on the conferenced version of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), setting up a final vote on Wednesday for the $768 billion defense spending bill.

The cloture motion sailed through the Senate by an 86-13 vote, ending debate on the compromise NDAA bill. Among the dissenting senators were seven Democrats, five Republicans, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

“We are pleased to announce we’ve come to a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” members of the Senate Armed Services Committee said in a statement Dec. 7. “This year’s agreement continues the Armed Services Committees’ 61-year tradition of working together to support our troops and strengthen national security.”

The conferenced bill passed the House of Representatives Dec. 7. The legislation includes a variety of tech and cyber inclusions, though it conspicuously lacks any form of mandatory cyber incident reporting. Among the inclusions are updates to cyber operations and Department of Defense cybersecurity, and a boost for research and development.

The bill is expected to receive a final vote and passage in the Senate on Wednesday, sending it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

Once passed and signed, the NDAA will mark one more big legislative item crossed off a full to-do list for Congress before the end of the year. The Senate was also looking to pass a debt-ceiling increase bill today, taking that issue off the table until potentially after the 2022 midterm elections. The clock is still ticking for Senate Democrats to pass a version of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill before the Child Tax Credit expires Dec. 31.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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