Airmen from the 305th Air Mobility Wing conduct inspections on aircraft at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. on Nov. 22. (Senior Airman Matt Porter/Air Force)
House leaders are expected to bring a compromise version of the annual defense authorization bill to the floor this week, but details of what the massive military policy legislation will include still haven’t been released.
The House passed its version of the authorization bill over the summer, an $840 billion spending plan that includes a 4.6% pay raise for troops next year and a host of new program starts.
The Senate has been discussing the measure for months but appears unlikely to pass its own version now, opting instead to simply approve a compromise draft after the House acts. The measure has passed through Congress for more than 60 consecutive years, and is seen as must-pass legislation by many in both chambers.
But that hasn’t stopped House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from calling for the measure to be delayed until next month, when his party takes control of the House.
He has argued that many issues in the bill — including mandates that troops get COVID-19 vaccines and overall military spending levels — need to be decided by the new majority, rather than outgoing Democrats.
Tuesday, Dec. 6
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2200 Rayburn Yemen
State Department officials will testify on the current humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Veterans housing
VA officials will testify on efforts to make transitional housing more available to veterans.
House Science — 1 p.m. — 2318 Rayburn Antarctic Research
Outside experts will testify on ways to make U.S. research efforts in the Antarctic more efficient and safe.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 Pending Business
The committee will mark up several pending bills.
Wednesday, Dec. 7
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 PACT Act implementation
VA officials will testify on plans to implement new toxic exposure legislation.
House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn Coast Guard's Arctic Responsibilities
Coast Guard officials will testify on current missions and goals in the Arctic.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2200 Rayburn Mekong Region
Outside experts will testify on security issues in the Mekong Region of Asia.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — Capitol S116 Pending Business
The committee will consider several pending measures.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn International Development Assistance
Outside experts will testify on ways to improve U.S. development assistance to foreign countries.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including Karen Sasahara to serve as ambassador to Kuwait.
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.