The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Gravely (DDG 107), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Porter (DDG 78) are shown moored in Faslane, Scotland, on March 30, 2019. (Spc. 1st Class Fred Gray IV/Navy)
The House Armed Services Committee begins final work on its draft of the annual defense authorization bill this week, with subcommittee marks ups on sections of the massive budget policy measure and an eye towards a full chamber vote before July 4.
The Senate Armed Services Committee passed its version of the legislation last month. Unlike the senators’ process, which happens behind closed doors, the House committee will conduct all of its subject-specific debates in public and hold its full-committee marathon debate in public session later this month.
The document is expected to rely on a defense budget spending baseline of $733 billion, an increase from last year but below the president’s preferred target. That’s one of several places where House and Senate negotiators will have to find compromise later this year before passing the bill into law.
Despite the potential for conflict, the legislation is seen as one of the few sure things in an increasingly divided Congress. It has passed annually for more than five decades, a record that leadership from both parties frequently cites when political disagreements arise.
Tuesday, June 4
Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider the nominations of Gen. John Raymond to be head of U.S. Space Command and Christopher Scolese to be director of the National Reconnaissance Office.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Employment Programs
VA officials will testify before the committee on vocational rehabilitation assistance and other employment programs.
House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn Coast Guard drug interdictions
Service officials will testify on current drug smuggling prevention efforts in the Western Hemisphere.
House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn NDAA — Emerging Threats
The subcommittee on emerging threats will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
House Armed Services — 12 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn NDAA — Personnel
The subcommittee on personnel will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn NDAA — Seapower
The subcommittee on seapower will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 Health Record Modernization
VA officials will testify on progress with health record modernization efforts.
House Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn NDAA — Tactical Air
The subcommittee on tactical air will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
House Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn NDAA — Strategic Forces
The subcommittee on strategic forces will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
Wednesday, June 5
House Select Intelligence — 8:30 a.m. — 1100 Longworth Climate Change and National Security
Outside experts will testify on the impact of climate change on military strategy and national security.
House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2212 Rayburn NDAA — Readiness
The subcommittee on readiness will mark up its section of the annual defense authorization bill.
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.