|Hopes for debt limit deal as June deadline looms|
Defense News & Army Times16 day(s) ago
House lawmakers hope they’ll have good news on the debt ceiling to bring back to constituents when they head home for Memorial Day events next weekend. White House officials and congressional leaders have signaled they could have a deal to raise the country’s debt limit — and avoid a series of potential economic catastrophes — in the next few days. Administration representatives have been negotiating directly with House Republican leaders for the last week on the issue, and have publicly voiced optimism that a solution can be found soon. RELATED ‘Devastating’ debt default threatens troop pay, defense programs If Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, payments to troops, veterans and defense contractors could cease as soon as June. By Leo Shane III and Bryant Harris Treasury officials have said the country is likely to run out of borrowing power around June 1 absent new legislation from Congress. If that happens, troops paychecks, veterans benefits and a host of other federal debts may not be paid on time, if at all. The Senate is on recess this week, but could be called back into town on short notice if a debt limit deal is reached. The topic has been the main focus of both chambers for the last few weeks, delaying regular work on the defense budget for fiscal 2024 and the annual defense authorization bill. Tuesday, May 23 House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — 360 Cannon COVID-19 Funding Department officials will testify on how pandemic funding was used and what money remains available to the agency. House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn Military Construction/VA Budget The full committee will mark up the fiscal 2024 appropriations plan for Veterans Affairs and military construction projects. House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 State Department Budget State Department officials will testify on the fiscal 2024 budget request for operations overseas, with a specific eye towards Europe. House Homeland Security — 2 p.m. — 310 Cannon China Outside experts will testify on security threats posed by China. Wednesday, May 24 House Veterans' Affairs — 8 a.m. — 360 Cannon VA Information Technology Department officials will testify on information technology challenges and improvements. House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 2359 Rayburn Homeland Security Appropriations The full committee will mark up the fiscal 2024 appropriations plan for the Department of Homeland Security. House Small Business — 2 p.m. — 2360 Rayburn Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Outside experts will testify on challenges for veteran-owned small businesses. House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 U.S. Arms Exports State Department officials will testify on arms exports to Australia, England and other allies. 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.