White House pushes back on efforts to restore program cuts in NDAA

The Biden administration appears determined to stick to plans to retire legacy platforms and systems.

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

The White House is hoping to press House lawmakers to eliminate certain tech and personnel provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, which is being debated this week.

In a policy statement issued Tuesday, the administration declared its opposition to the legislative restoration of funding to systems, "that limit DOD's ability to divest or retire lower priority platforms not relevant to tomorrow's battlefield."

The administration also pushed back on a provision that establishes a minimum wage for Defense Department contractors because it is out of sync with an executive order that resets the minimum wage at $15. The administration noted that the legislative provision, "would lead to significant confusion by applying different requirements to many of the same contractors," who have contracts with DOD and civilian agencies.

A proposal to create a Space National Guard was rebuffed. "Establishing a Space National Guard would not deliver new capabilities -- it would instead create new government bureaucracy, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates could increase costs by up to $500 million annually." The administration feels the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units that are tasked with space missions can fulfill the roles envisioned for the Space National Guard.

The administration also balked at several measures designed to support service members who don't wish to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.