Legislation Describing a National Defense Panel for 2009/2010 – HR2647, section 1035

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)

SEC. 1035. NATIONAL DEFENSE PANEL.

(a) Establishment- There is established a bipartisan, independent panel to be known as the National Defense Panel (in this section referred to as the `Panel’). The Panel shall have the duties set forth in this section.

(b) Membership- The Panel shall be composed of twelve members who are recognized experts in matters relating to the national security of the United States. The members shall be appointed as follows:

(1) Three by the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

(2) Three by the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

(3) Two by the ranking member of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

(4) Two by the ranking member of the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate.

(5) Two by the Secretary of Defense.

(c) Co-chairs of the Panel- The chairman of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee of Armed Services of the Senate shall each designate one of their appointees under subsection (b) to serve as co-chair of the panel.

(d) Period of Appointment; Vacancies- Members shall be appointed for the life of the Panel. Any vacancy in the Panel shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(e) Duties- The Panel shall–

(1) review the national defense strategy, the national military strategy, the Secretary of Defense’s terms of reference, and any other materials providing the basis for, or substantial inputs to, the work of the Department of Defense on the 2009 quadrennial defense review under section 118 of title 10, United States Code (in this subsection referred to as the `2009 QDR’), as well as the 2009 QDR itself;

(2) conduct an assessment of the assumptions, strategy, findings, costs, and risks of the report of the 2009 QDR, with particular attention paid to the risks described in that report;

(3) submit to the congressional defense committees and the Secretary an independent assessment of a variety of possible force structures of the Armed Forces, including the force structure identified in the report of the 2009 QDR, suitable to meet the requirements identified in the review required in paragraph (1);

(4) to the extent practicable, estimate the funding required by fiscal year, in constant fiscal year 2010 dollars, to organize, equip, and support the forces contemplated under the force structures assessed in the assessment under paragraph (3); and

(5) provide to Congress and the Secretary of Defense, through the reports under subsection (g), any recommendations it considers appropriate for their consideration.

(f) First Meeting-

(1) The Panel shall hold its first meeting no later than 30 days after the date as of which all appointments to the Panel under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) have been made.

(2) If the Secretary of Defense has not made the Secretary’s appointments to the Panel under subsection (b)(5) by the date of the first meeting pursuant to paragraph (1), the Panel shall convene with the remaining members.

(g) Reports-

(1) Not later than April 15, 2010, the Panel shall submit an interim report on its findings to the congressional defense committees and to the Secretary of Defense.

(2) Not later than January 15, 2011, the Panel shall submit its final report, together with any recommendations, to the congressional defense committees and to the Secretary of Defense.

(3) Not later than February 15, 2011, the Secretary of Defense, after consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, shall submit to the committees referred to in paragraph (2) the Secretary’s comments on the Panel’s final report under that paragraph.

(h) Information From Federal Agencies- The Panel may secure directly from the Department of Defense and any of its components such information as the Panel considers necessary to carry out its duties under this section. The head of the department or agency concerned shall ensure that information requested by the Panel under this subsection is promptly provided.

(i) FFRDC Support- Upon the request of the co-chairs of the Panel, the Secretary of Defense shall make available to the Panel the services of any federally funded research and development center that is covered by a sponsoring agreement of the Department of Defense.

(j) Personnel Matters- The Panel shall have the authorities provided in section 3161 of title 5, United States Code, and shall be subject to the conditions set forth in such section.

(k) Payment of Panel Expenses- Funds for activities of the Panel shall be provided from amounts available to the Department of Defense.

(l) Termination- The Panel shall terminate 45 days after the date on which the Panel submits its final report under subsection (g)(2).

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