|Debt limit fight stalls lawmakers' defense budget work|
Defense News & Army Times23 day(s) ago
Defense budget work on Capitol Hill remains halted until Congress finds a compromise on the looming debt limit crisis. House Armed Services Committee members were supposed to begin public work on their initial draft of the annual defense authorization bill last week, but Republican leaders halted those plans until sometime next month. Senate lawmakers similarly have pushed back the defense policy work until mid-June, after they see what political deals are made in the next few weeks. The Congressional Budget Office on Friday warned that the federal government is likely to run out of borrowing authority in early June. White House officials have warned that triggering a national credit default will cause a host of problems for agencies, including potentially delaying pay for troops and civilian workers. President Joe Biden was scheduled to meet with House and Senate leaders on the issue on Friday, but the meeting was scrapped as staff members continued behind-the-scenes negotiations. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has said if a deal isn’t in place in the next two weeks, lawmakers won’t have enough time to avoid potential problems. Tuesday, May 16 House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn Member Day Lawmakers will offer their suggestions for the fiscal 2024 defense authorization bill. Senate Commerce — 10 a.m. — 253 Russell NASA Budget Bill Nelson, administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, will discuss the fiscal 2024 budget request. House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Pending Legislation The committee will consider several pending bills. Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Russia Outside experts will testify on current U.S. policy towards Russia. House Veterans Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — 360 Cannon PACT Act implementation Department officials will testify on delivery of benefits for military toxic exposure injuries. Senate Appropriations — 2 p.m. — 106 Dirksen U.S.-China Relationship Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will testify on U.S. security investments and threats posed by China. Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Pending Nominations The committee will consider several pending nominations. Wednesday, May 17 Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — 222 Russell Special Ops Forces Outside experts will testify on special forces current missions and long-term planning strategy. House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2200 Rayburn Afghan Women Former Afghan officials will take part in a committee roundtable on the challenges facing women and girls in Afghanistan. House Veterans' Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — 360 Cannon VA recruitment Department officials will discuss efforts to hire more staff to handle benefits claims. House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn China Outside experts will testify on growing Chinese global influence and U.S. response. Senate Foreign Relations — 2:45 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Pending Nominations The committee will consider several pending nominations. Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell VA Budget Department leaders will testify on the FY24 budget request. House Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 360 Cannon Transition Assistance Programs Department officials will discuss improvements to military transition programs. Thursday, May 18 Senate Foreign Relations — 10:30 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Western Balkans State Department officials will testify on U.S. policy in the Western Balkan region. 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.