May 20, 2019 Update

[New information bolded and italicized]

This week: the Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled markups for its subcommittees on Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21, and full committee on Wednesday, May 22. Chairman Inhofe (R-OK) hopes to have the defense authorization bill on the Senate floor in June.

This week also, likely on May 21, the full House appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the fiscal 2020 defense spending bill. On May 15, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee under Chair Pete Visclosky (D-IN) approved the bill by voice vote. The bill provides $690.2 billion in new discretionary spending authority, an increase of $15.8 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, and $8 billion below the request.


The total includes $622.1 billion in base funding, an increase of $15.6 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $88.2 billion above the President’s request. It also includes $68.1 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, an increase of $165 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $96.2 billion below the President’s request. The Committee moved $98 billion from OCO to the Pentagon’s base budget and bars Pentagon spending to be used with the border wall. The committee summary of the bill is 
here and the text of the bill is here.

Note: $733 billion is the actual Fiscal Year 2020 total for defense thus far approved by the House Appropriations Committee when all parts of the military budget, including Defense, Energy and Water, Military Construction and Overseas Contingency Operations, are included.

On May 16, the full Appropriations Committee approved a $56.4 billion State and Foreign Operations bill 29-23. The House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee headed by Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) had approved this measure on May 10. The bill includes $48.4 billion in base discretionary funding for the State Department, USAID, commissions and related agencies – $2.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $5.7 billion above the President’s budget request. The committee summary of the bill is here;  the text here; the bill report here.

On May 15, the House Energy and Water Subcommittee under Chair Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) approved its Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill by voice vote. The bill appropriates $46.4 billion in Energy and Water programs, an increase of $1.8 billion from fiscal year 2019. The full Committee is expected to consider the bill this week. The committee summary of the bill is here; the text of the bill is here.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet scheduled its markups.

Key Fiscal Year 2020 National Security Bills

 

Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Resolution

On March 28, the Senate Budget Committee reported out a budget resolution on a party-line vote that provides $576 discretionary budget authority for defense (not including OCO) in FY 2020, a reduction of $71 billion from $647 billion in FY 2019, and $542 billion for non-defense, a cut of $55 billion from $597 billion in FY 2019. The Committee also approved $67 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations and $15 billion for other programs. The measure is not expected to be brought up for votes on the Senate floor.

On April 3, the House Budget Committee voted 19-17 to raise 2020 budget caps on non-defense spending by $34 billion, to $631 billion, and increase defense spending by $17 billion, to $664 billion in fiscal year 2020. While the full House had expected to vote on these numbers, the House leadership pulled the bill from the House floor due to opposition from both Democratic progressives and moderates.

As a substitute for a budget resolution, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced on April 9 that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  have agreed to begin negotiating on a new two-year deal to raise budget caps.

However, President Trump has suggested that he would reject any bipartisan budget agreement.

As a result, there are widespread predictions of deadlock and a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for part or all of next fiscal year and possibly another government shutdown.

 

Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill

Senate Armed Services Committee markup schedule: subcommittees on Monday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 21; full committee begins its markup on Wednesday, May 22. Chairman Inhofe (R-OK) hopes to have the bill on the Senate floor in June.

The House Armed Services Committee Subcommittees will mark up their legislation on Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, June 5; full committee will act on Wednesday, June 12. Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) hopes that the bill is considered by the full House in July.

 

Fiscal Year 2020 Defense Appropriations Bill

It is apparent that controversial issues such as the $174 billion add-on in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) budget, spending on the wall with Mexico and the administration’s attempt to raise military spending and cut non-military spending will make it difficult for Congress to agree on an annual budget resolution, the National Defense Authorization Bill or appropriations bills. There are widespread predictions of deadlock and a Continuing Resolution to fund the government for part or all of next fiscal year.

On May 15, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee under Chair Pete Visclosky (D-IN) approved the bill by voice vote. The bill provides $690.2 billion in new discretionary spending authority, an increase of $15.8 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level, and $8 billion below the request.

The total includes $622.1 billion in base funding, an increase of $15.6 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $88.2 billion above the President’s request. It also includes $68.1 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, an increase of $165 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $96.2 billion below the President’s request. The Committee moved $98 billion from OCO to the Pentagon’s base budget and bars Pentagon spending to be used with the border wall. The Committee summary of the bill is here and the text of the bill is here

 

Fiscal Year 2020 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

On May 15, the House Energy and Water Subcommittee under Chair Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) approved its Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill by voice vote. The bill appropriates $46.4 billion in Energy and Water programs, an increase of $1.8 billion from fiscal year 2019. The full Committee is expected to consider the bill this week. The committee summary of the bill is here; the text of the bill is herey.

 

Fiscal Year 2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

On May 16, the full Appropriations Committee approved a $56.4 billion State and Foreign Operations bill 29-23. The House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee headed by Chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) had approved this measure on May 10. The bill includes $48.4 billion in base discretionary funding for the State Department, USAID, commissions and related agencies – $2.2 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $5.7 billion above the President’s budget request. The committee summary of the bill is here;  the text here; the bill report here.

 

FISCAL YEAR 2019 MILITARY CONSTRUCTION-VETERANS” ADMINISTRATION (VA) BILL

On May 1, the House Appropriations Military Construction-Veterans Administration (VA) Subcommittee bill under Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) approved a $108.1 billion fiscal 2020 spending bill that, among other issues, would block the Trump administration from redirecting military infrastructure funds toward more border barriers. The total in the bill for military construction is $10.1 billion and $94.3 billion for the VA. On May 9, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the bill 31-21.

 

Yemen

On April 16, President Trump vetoed S.J. Res. 7, a bill blocking U.S. military involvement in Yemen. The House had passed the measure 247 to 175 and the Senate 54 to 46.

 

Congressional recess schedule in 2019

Thursday, May 23 – Monday, June 3: House and Senate recess
Thursday, June 27 – Monday, July 8: House and Senate recess
Thursday, July 26 – Monday, September 9: House summer recess
Friday, August 2-Monday, September 9 – Senate summer recess
Friday, September 27 – Tuesday, October 15: House and Senate recess
Friday, October 31 – Tuesday, November 12: House recess
Thursday, November 21 – Monday, December 2: House and Senate recess
Thursday, December 12: Tentative House and Senate adjournment for the year