Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Senate and House lawmakers have reached an agreement on a defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020, Inside Defense reported Saturday.
“The House will vote on a Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act as soon as Wednesday and in the Senate shortly thereafter,” Thornberry said.
Defense Secretary and 2019 Wash100 award recipient Mark Esper announced at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum that Congress added to the FY 2020 NDAA a provision that would authorize the establishment of the Space Force as the sixth service branch, Breaking Defense reported.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said the proposed Space Force needs to prioritize efforts of safeguarding national security-related space assets and ensure that the architecture meets warfighters’ future requirements on the ground.
“We have to be able to defend what we have there that we count on,” Barrett said at the forum. “We need to replace the things that are there that require external defense — put things in space that themselves can be defended. And then we need to be able to use space as an enabler for warfighters in other domains.
President Trump signed in November a continuing resolution to fund the federal government through Dec. 20 and prevent a government shutdown.