Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: Resuming delayed defense, VA budget fights

House Democrats will craft their version of the fiscal 2021 appropriations bill — including funding levels for the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs — throughout the week on Capitol Hill, work that was delayed several months by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Final passage of the budget isn’t likely to take place before the November elections, even though the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1. Lawmakers this week will offer their first full response to the president’s budget request filed back in February, work that had been planned for April until the outbreak postponed most congressional activities.

The move comes one week after the House Armed Services Committee finalized its $740.5 billion plan for defense spending priorities in the annual defense authorization bill. That legislation is expected to reach the full House floor in the next few weeks.

The armed services committee on Thursday will host Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to testify on concerns related to the use of military personnel in response to nationwide protests last month concerning racial inequalities.

Monday, July 6

House Appropriations — 4 p.m. — 2358-A Rayburn
State Department budget
The committee will mark up the sections of the fiscal 2021 appropriations bill related to the State Department and other foriegn operations.

House Appropriations — 8 p.m. — H143 Capitol
VA/military construction budget
The committee will mark up the sections of the fiscal 2021 appropriations bill related to the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction.

Tuesday, July 7

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
Russia
Outside experts will testify on Russian violations of international law.

Wednesday, July 8

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — H210 Visitors Center
Bad Paper veterans
VA and outside advocates will testify on challenges facing veterans with “bad paper” discharges who attempt to access department services.

House Appropriations — 3 p.m. — 2359 Rayburn
Military budget
The committee will mark up the sections of the fiscal 2021 appropriations bill related to the Defense Department.

Thursday, July 9

House Appropriations — 9 a.m. — 100 Longworth
FY21 appropriations bill
The full committee will mark up its draft of the fiscal 2021 appropriations bill.

House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — House Auditorium, Visitors Center
DOD's Civilian Law Enforcement
Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley will testify before the committee on military authorities in domestic emergency response missions.

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