Navy Reserve officials admire artwork displayed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building on April 10, 2019. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Okula/Navy)
House Armed Services Committee members will hold their marathon mark-up of the annual defense authorization bill on Wednesday, an event that is expected to last more than 12 hours and feature some contentious military policy debates.
Unlike the Senate Armed Services Committee, which conducted the majority of its work behind closed doors last month, the House panel has a tradition of a lengthy public negotiation for the budget policy bill.
Although the work includes discussion of several heated topics — transgender recruits and nuclear weapons stocks are expected to be among the most problematic — the final product typically leaves the committee with strong bipartisan backing.
Both chambers could pass those committee drafts by the end of the month, giving staff most of the summer to work out a compromise deal between Democrat-led policies from the House and Republican-favored ones in the Senate.
Tuesday, June 11
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 VA's Police Force
Department officials will testify on security forces at VA facilities and challenges they face.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn Nicaragua
Outside experts will testify on human rights issues in Nicaragua.
House Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn Homeland Security budget
The committee will mark up its versions of the Homeland Security and Financial Services appropriations bills for fiscal 2020.
Wednesday, June 12
House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn NDAA mark up
The full committee will mark up its draft of the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn Foriegn arms sales
State Department officials will testify on administration plans to increase foriegn arms sales over congressional concerns.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10:15 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Electronic health records
Department officials will testify on work to modernize VA’s electronic medical records systems.
Thursday, June 13
House Foreign Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn South Asia
State Department officials will testify on U.S. strategic interests in south Asia and the fiscal 2020 budget request.
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.
Despite repeated warnings from lawmakers and uniformed Pentagon leaders that a full-year continuing resolution will hurt national security, some in the defense industry are still worried that budgetary route is a possibility.
The United Arab Emirates is the first to use the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System in an attack by Houthi militants. It successfully took out a mid-range ballistic missile aimed at a civilian site in the country.