Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that negotiations on the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) have stalled due to the unfolding northern Syria situation, Defense News reported.
Inhofe, in a brief hallway interview, said negotiations to reconcile the Senate and House bills “kind of are stalling. Syria has messed up a little bit of that because people think that is a more imminent problem to deal with than the NDAA, and it doesn’t have to be finished until December,” according to the report.
The “Big Four” chairmen and ranking members of both House and Senate Armed Services Committees were to meet Wednesday to resume negotiations, while meetings between their staff directors continued over the recent two-week congressional recess, Inhofe said.
Inhofe did not say whether lawmakers would insert Syria-related language into the bill, but he did not rule it out either, according to the report.
Wednesday’s NDAA meeting was expected to focus on differences between the Democrat-led House bill and the GOP-led Senate bill, with Inhofe saying there are six outstanding issues that must be resolved before Dec. 31, the report said.
“It’ll be before Dec. 30 because it has to be, and for 58 years it has been,” Inhofe said.