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Senate Takes Up NDAA as Research Restrictions Advance in House

JUL 17, 2023
Will Thomas
Spencer R. Weart Director of Research in History, Policy, and Culture
mike-rogers-hasc-hearing.png

House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers (R-AL)

(U.S. Air Force TSgt. Jack Sanders / DOD)

The Senate will take up its draft of the National Defense Authorization Act on the floor this week, following close behind the House, which passed its version of the bill last week.

During the House floor debate, several provisions seeking to constrict research ties with China were added to the bill on voice votes, including ones that would:

  • Prohibit all federal agencies from directly or indirectly funding research conducted by any “agent or instrumentality” of the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party, or by “any entity owned by or controlled by the People’s Republic of China.”
  • Generally prohibit the Department of Defense from funding any institution of higher education that collaborates in fundamental research with an “entity of concern” or several categories of research institutions associated with the Chinese military.
  • Generally prohibit DOD from providing R&D funding to any “entity that maintains a contract” with an academic institution in China, Russia, or other countries to be specifically identified.
  • Generally prohibit DOD from funding any cooperative biomedical research program with the Chinese government or “China-affiliated organizations.”

The vote on the House bill was split 219-210, mainly along party lines, with Democrats objecting to a series of Republican floor amendments restricting DOD support for diversity and inclusion initiatives and for service members seeking abortions and gender-affirming medical care.

Any provision in either version of the bill could be dropped or altered when House and Senate negotiators eventually meet to finalize the legislation.

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