The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act has been passed by the U.S. Senate, after the act was ratified by a vote of 85-13.
The newly approved bill, S. 2943, authorizes $618 billion to be paid to the defense and military personnel programs in 2017. As part of the bill, medical and dental research will remain in the Department of Defense.
The American Dental Association (ADA) was part of the alliance that fought to keep research in the piece of legislation. Earlier this month, the ADA, along with 129 groups of health care professionals, patient advocacy organizations and universities, sent a letter to John McCain, chair of the Senate Committee on Armed Services; Jack Reed, ranking minority member; and all 100 senators to remove sections 756 and 898 from the bill.
Section 756 of the bill would have endangered the funding of research activities, while section 898 threatened to place “unnecessary and burdensome acquisition compliance and auditing requirements” on programs.
The Senate was urged by the alliance to remove these two sections so funding for research activities would be maintained. Sen. Dick Durbin introduced an amendment to the bill because of the letter, which remains part of the final wording.