Before leaving town for the summer congressional recess, both the House and Senate passed their respective versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The annual NDAA, which authorizes military spending programs, is considered a “must pass” bill, and in spite of ongoing congressional gridlock, has been approved by Congress and signed into law each year for more than 50 years. As such, the NDAA often serves as a vehicle for policy-related amendments to defense-related laws.
Of particular note with respect to the FY 2017 NDAA, both the House and Senate have added provisions to their respective bills that would scale back the scope of Executive Order 13673, President Obama’s controversial Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, or “blacklisting” Executive Order, albeit in different ways. Although the differences between the House and Senate bills still need to be reconciled, the fact that both versions contain some form of blacklisting restrictions makes it more likely that the final version will as well.
While the Obama Administration opposes these provisions (and many others contained in the two bills), and has issued a veto threat, it is all but certain that some compromise version of the NDAA eventually will be signed into law, most likely containing some provisions to which the Administration strongly objects. Whether these will include the blacklisting restrictions remains to be seen.
Members of the Equal Employment Advisory Council (EEAC) can read more here.