The FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed by the House this past July and the Senate in September, authorizes appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense, military construction and defense actives of the Department of Energy. The final draft of the bill includes contracting and entrepreneurial development bills introduced by nine members of the Small Business Committee.
Within the NDAA are two main pieces of legislation focusing on small businesses: H.R. 1773, the Clarity of America’s Small Contractors Act of 2017 and H.R. 1774, Developing the Next Generation of Small Businesses Act of 2017. The main goals of the former include improving reporting on small business goals, clarifying the role of small business advocates, modernizing the Small Business Act’s language, strengthening small business advocates by promoting competition and ensuring transparency and accountability by clearly showing where taxpayer dollars are being spent. The latter’s goals include expanding entrepreneurial development by ensuring that SBA is introducing new entrepreneurs to the opportunities afforded by federal procurement contracts.
Sen. John McCain has been working with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) to hammer out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. This month, the group named the House Armed Services Committee members that would be serving on the House-Senate Conference committee. Those names are listed here.
Thornberry had previously stated that negotiations would wrap up by the end of October, and just last Wednesday, McCain confidently announced that the work on the bill would be finished in days.