Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: Back to the budget fight

Congress returns from a five-week summer recess on Monday with the fiscal 2020 budget at the top of its to-do list.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will take up defense budget legislation this week in the hopes of reaching a compromise spending plan with House lawmakers by the end of the month. House Democratic leaders have already said they anticipate that process taking some time, and needing a short-term budget extension to avoid a partial government shutdown in October.

Both sides have already agreed upon a $738 billion military spending plan for fiscal 2020, part of a larger $2.7 trillion federal budget agreement passed by both chambers in July.

Also this week, the Senate Armed Services Committee takes up the nominations of two more prominent Pentagon officials: Ryan McCarthy to be Army secretary and Barbara Barrett to Air Force secretary.

If they’re confirmed later this fall, it will mark the first time since last December that the three service secretary posts and the defense secretary job have been filled by permanent officials.

Tuesday, Sept. 10

House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon
Global Terror Threats
Outside experts will testify on terrorism and its impact on national security.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center
Member Day
Lawmakers from other committees will present their requests and priorities on veterans issues.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 192 Dirksen
Defense budget
The committee will consider the fiscal 2020 defense budget.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Securing the internet
Defense, Homeland Security and Commerce officials will testify on the military’s role in securing the nation’s internet architecture.

Wednesday, Sept. 11

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center
Pending legislation
The subcommittee on health with consider several pending bills.

Senate Appropriations — 2:15 p.m. — 124 Dirksen
Outside experts will testify on threats to regional stability in Africa.

Thursday, Sept. 12

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G50 Dirksen
The committee will consider the nominations of Ryan McCarthy to be secretary of the Army and Barbara Barrett to be secretary of the Air Force.

Senate Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — 124 Dirksen
2020 appropriations
The committee will consider an appropriations package including Department of Defense funding for next fiscal year.
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