On January 1, the Senate members voted 81-13 to override President Trump’s veto of the Financial Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The New Year’s Day motion was the first Trump’s veto was reversed by Congress appropriately. By a margin of 322-87, the House came out in support of the veto on December 28. The NDAA would be passed into law following Senate’s vote. To override a presidential veto, a two-thirds majority is required in the House as well as Senate.

“I’m pleased the Senate approved again, by a broad bipartisan majority, for the bill, for Sixty consecutive years, the most significant legislation we have every year,” Sen. James Inhofe, who serves as Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, said. The defense policy legislation authorizes national defense expenditure of $740.5 billion as well as sets policies on military pay, arms acquisition, operations, and training. Lawmakers unanimously defeated Trump’s attempt to derail that bill over concerns that did not have anything to do with national security, such as the president’s proposal that now the NDAA contains a clause to overturn Section 230 of 1996 Communications Act, which does protect users from legal responsibility for the content shared by social media firms. In the NDAA, Trump also opposed clauses directing the Pentagon to modify military buildings’ names commemorating Confederate generals.

The 2021 NDAA was named after Rep. Mac Thornberry, the House Armed Services Committee’s ranking member, who will retire from Congress. In an assertion, Thornberry said he believes Americans are “motivated to see how the parties can operate together, even on national security, as well as our governmental system underneath the Constitution, works as planned.” The bill has many national security space clauses and the United States, Space Force:

By May 15, the Air Force Department must have an acquisition plan to acquire space systems. Congress is particularly worried about how the Space Force can speed up next-generation technology acquisition and take advantage of advances in the commercial industry. The Air Force Secretary must issue a statement on the selection procedure and criteria used only to decide the permanent location for the Space Command’s headquarters. The Space Force’s goal is to initiate research and development programs to foster competition within the context of the National Security Space Launch Program.

In the financial year 2021, the bill allows a maximum of $90 million for the new R&D projects based on launch technologies. Air Force has at least two contractors to acquire commercial space domain awareness facilities. The Pentagon must set up a small launch and satellite strategy to guarantee “responsive as well as reliable access to space via the processing and deployment of small-class payloads from the Department of Defense.” The Department of Defense, as well as the intelligence community, must exploit commercial geospatial-intelligence resources and procure domestic, commercial satellite imagery as much as possible.


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