The B-21 Ultimatum

The Senate Armed Service Committee’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act would make it illegal to spend any Fiscal 2017 money for the B-21 engineering and manufacturing development program until the Air Force tells defense committees the amount of the contract award. The bill also reduces the authorized amount to spend on the B-21 by $302 million because of a “lower than expected” contract award value, and creates program baseline and cost control thresholds, with required quarterly performance reports, according to a SASC summary of the legislation. Seven senators, including SASC Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), voted against changing the provision from requiring public disclosure of the EMD contract award value to requiring defense committee disclosure, according to a document obtained by Politico Pro detailing the committee’s roll call votes in the closed markup.