Obama signs defense authorization bill

Spending levels largely unchanged from original budget request

President Barack Obama signed the defense authorization act late on Jan. 7, putting into practice the $725 billion defense budget for fiscal 2011 that Congress had passed. .

The spending levels in the fiscal 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 6523) are roughly equal to Obama’s budget request and 7 percent more than the enacted in last year’s bill.

Congress passed the bill in December, very late in the year after lengthy wrangling. Lawmakers removed or modified many controversial provisions, such as one that would have allowed officials to ban a contractor without notice under certain conditions. They also removed several provisions related to cybersecurity, including a White House Office of Cyberspace and an oversight board for IT compliance.

Starting with the next budget, for fiscal 2012, Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed measures for reducing costs may begin to manifest.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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