Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: NDAA debates before the full House and Senate

Both the House and Senate will debate their separate drafts of the annual defense authorization bill on their chamber floors this week, including potentially controversial amendments on base names, border wall funding and a host of other issues.

The Senate returns from a two-week holiday break to pick up their work on the massive defense budget bill, which lawmakers hope to advance to inter-chamber negotiations by the end of the month. The Senate Armed Services Committee passed their version of the measure one month ago.

House Rules officials on Friday began setting the parameters for their debate of the House Armed Services Committee’s draft, passed on July 1. Lawmakers proposed more than 700 amendments to the measure, although only a few will get significant discussion time before the full chamber.

The authorization bill, which sets the annual military pay raise and contains hundreds of budget policy provisions, has passed into law for 59 consecutive years despite persistent partisan conflicts on a number of other issues.

Tuesday, July 21

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center
Veterans employment
VA officials and outside advocates will testify on veterans employment issues amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
State Department coronavirus response
Department officials will testify on their role and response in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 106 Dirksen
The committee will consider several nominations, including Marshall Billingslea to be under secretary of State for arms control and international security.

Wednesday, July 22

House Oversight — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Defense officials will testify on the current status of the F-35 program.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
Sexual Harassment
VA and outside advocates will testify on sexual harassment policies within the department.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
Competition With China
Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun will testify on U.S. relations with China.

Thursday, July 23

House Foreign Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Foreign Assistance Budget
John Barsa, acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, will testify on the administration’s fiscal 2021 foriegn assistance budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — H210 Visitors Center
Pending legislation
The committee will mark up several pending bills.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider several ambassador nominations.

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