The Senate Armed Services Committee will mark up its draft of the annual defense authorization bill this week while the House Appropriations Committee advances its own work on the annual defense spending plan.

Both pieces of legislation are key parts of the annual military budget, which is not expected to be finalized by lawmakers until later this fall. But the work completed this month will set the baseline of debate for much of the summer, establishing defense spending toplines for the Republican-controlled Senate and Democrat-controlled House.

All of the Senate Armed Services Committee debate and nearly all of the subcommittee work will take place behind closed doors again this year. The only exception is the personnel panel, which will hold a public mark-up on Tuesday afternoon.

The House Appropriations Committee will hold its debate on the funding plan in the open on Tuesday morning, after handling its subcommittee negotiations behind closed doors last week.

Lawmakers are expected to break for the Memorial Day recess on Thursday, resuming normal congressional activity in June.

Tuesday, May 21

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Outside experts will testify on Russian interference in foreign political matters.

House Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn
Defense Appropriations
The full committee will mark up the Defense Department appropriations bill, along with the Energy and Water budget for fiscal 2020.

Senate Foreign Relations — 11 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider several nominations, including Jennifer Nordquist to be the new executive director of the international bank for reconstruction and development.

House Armed Services/House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Defense Department and Veterans Affairs experts will testify on preventing suicide.

House Transportation — 2 p.m. — 2167 Rayburn
Coast Guard
Service officials will testify on the fiscal 2020 budget request.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — G50 Dirksen
NDAA personnel mark up
The personnel subcommittee will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.

Wednesday, May 22

House Homeland Security — 9:30 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Homeland Security Budget
Kevin McAleenan, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, will testify on the fiscal 2020 budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center
VA Healthcare
Department officials will testify on implementation of the Mission Act.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
State Department officials will testify on the administration’s Syria policy.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — 334 Cannon
VA Effectiveness
Oversight agencies will testify on ideas to improve efficiency at the department.

Senate Veterans' Affairs — 2:30 p.m. — 418 Russell
Legislative hearing
Committee members will consider a series of health and benefits bills.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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