September 20, 2021 Update
[New information bolded and italicized]
Hold on to your hats. In the next hree weeks, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has laid out the following agenda:
– Suspend the debt limit, or face default on US debt and enormous international economic implications.;
– Adopt a Continuing Resolution to keep funding the government after September 30, with the new expiration date in December;
– Take up the bipartisan infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate by Sept. 27;
– Agree on an up to $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill;
– Consider the Women’s Health Protection Act (which enshrines a right to abortion) and a cost-of-living adjustment for veterans.
– Vote on the many amendments (848 offered as of 9/17) to the National Defense Authorization bill and final passage.
For a list of key amendments that have been submitted and may be voted upon if approved by the House Rules Committee, click here.
For a detailed analysis of the $777.9 billion bill by our sister organization, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, click here.
On the Senate side, the Senate may also consider its version of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill while Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy announced that markup of the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bill has been delayed because of the insistence that the two parties first agree on the top-line numbers for defense and non-defense programs.
Click here for some of the key introduced national security measures.
Key Fiscal Year 2022 National Security Bills
Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Bill
In late July, the House Armed Services subcommittees authorized funding for the Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Authorization bill. The full Armed Services Committee will not meet to consider the bill until after the August recess. Major issues and votes were put off until then.
On July 22, the Senate Armed Services Committee completed markup (or writing) of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill was adopted 23-3. The bill supports a total of $777.9 billion in fiscal year 2022 funding for national defense. Within this topline, the legislation authorizes $740.3 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) and $27.7 billion for national security programs within the Department of Energy (DOE).
The committee voted to increase the defense budget requested by the Biden administration by $25 billion, $37 billion more than was enacted for fiscal 2021. The increase was approved 25-1, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) the only dissenter. Every Republican and all but one Democrat on the committee voted for the additional funding.
The committee approved a provision offered by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to create military attorney offices, rather than senior officers, that would decide which felony allegations to prosecute, a provision not limited to sexual offenses. It also added six F-35 aircraft, five F-15EX jets and another Arleigh Burke class destroyer.
The bill goes to the full Senate after the August recess.
On July 27 and 28, all the House Armed Services Subcommittees marked up or wrote their sections of the bills.
Fiscal Year 2022 Defense Appropriations Bill
On June 30, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee approved by voice vote a $706 billion bill, an increase of $10 billion above 2021 in line with President Biden’s Pentagon budget request of $715 billion. The bill eliminated funding for the Navy’s sea-launched cruise missile – nuclear program, added an extra destroyer, ended the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, mandated the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Prison by the end of fiscal 2022, and included $25 million to extricate Afghans who aided U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
On July 13, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the $706 billion fiscal year 2022 Defense Appropriations bill on a 33-23 vote, in line with President Biden’s Pentagon budget request of $715 billion. The Committee adopted a pair of amendments from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to repeal the 2001 AUMF and the 2002 Iraq War authorization and rejected 26-31 an amendment from Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) to reinstate a long-running ban on money to close the Guantanamo Bay prison or transfer detainees to the U.S.
Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Resolution
At the end of May, the Biden administration released its long awaited detailed fiscal year 2022 budget. The top line number is $753 billion for defense spending, a 1.7 percent increase from the final enacted Trump budget. The request included $715 billion for the Pentagon.
Despite a budget review of about four and a half months, the Biden team requested a nuclear weapons budget of $43.2 billion, with very little variation from the Trump administration’s proposals. Indeed, the request funds, or even expands, nearly every nuclear program from the Trump administration.
The new request was not consistent with President Biden’s campaign rhetoric or the Democratic Party platform. Progressives will look to reduce the request while conservatives will attempt to raise it.
Click here for a detailed analysis of the new defense budget by Council for a Livable World’s sister organization, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill
On July 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water approved by voice vote its fiscal year 2022 bill and the full Appropriations Committee voted for it on July 16 with a 33-24 vote. The bill provides $53.2 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion above 2021, including $20.2 billion for DOE’s nuclear security programs of which $15.5 billion goes for nuclear weapons activities. The Committee rejected any funding related to the Nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise Missile.
On July 29, the House passed by a 219 to 208 vote a package of seven 2022 appropriations bills, including Energy and Water.
On August 4, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 25-5 to advance a $53.6 billion fiscal 2022 funding bill for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation, including $15.5 billion for nuclear weapons activities and $2.2 billion for nuclear non-proliferation programs. The bill conditions new funding for a nuclear sea-launched cruise missile and associated warheads on the outcome of the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review.
Fiscal Year 2022 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
On June 28, the House State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee approved by voice vote $62.2 billion for fiscal year 2022, which was a 12% increase over current funding levels, including more than $18 billion for the State Department and $1.8 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
On July 1, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the State, Foreign Operations bill 32-25 that the subcommittee had marked up on June 25.
On July 28, the House approved by a 217 to 212 vote, the 2022 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill.
Fiscal Year 2022 Military Construction-Veterans’ Administration (VA) Bill
On June 25, the House Appropriations Military Construction-Veterans Administration panel approved the $279.9 billion fiscal 2022 spending legislation by voice vote.
On June 30, the full House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal 2022 military construction legislation by a 33-24 vote, a bill previously approved by subcommittee. In total, the bill provides $279.9 billion, an increase of $28.1 billion – more than 10 percent – above 2021. Of this amount, discretionary funding for programs such as veterans’ health care and Military Construction totals $124.5 billion, an increase of $11.4 billion above 2021.The bill provided a total of $10.9 billion for military construction (a portion of the Pentagon budget), $2.9 billion above the 2021 enacted level and $1.1 billion above the President’s budget request.
On July 29, the House passed by a 219 to 208 vote a package of seven 2022 appropriations bills, including the Military Construction Bill.
On August 4, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 25-5 for the fiscal 2022 military construction spending bill, approving $11 billion to defense infrastructure, family housing and related accounts.