On March 16, the Senate took a preliminary vote of 68-27 to advance the repeal of the 1991 and 2002 Iraq Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMFs). In a surprise, 19 Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting the procedural motion on the winning side. The final vote is expected this week, with some number of amendments to be voted on first.
All federal agencies, including the Pentagon, have replied to Ranking Appropriations Democrat Rosa DeLauro describing impact of GOP goal to cap FY 2024 spending at FY 2022 levels. The Pentagon response is here.
Authorization to Use Military Force
On March 8, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 13-8 to repeal 2002 and 1991 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that launched President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Before the final vote, the Committee rejected 13-8 a Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) amendment that would specify that the U.S. has the authority to attack Iran. An amendment Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) amendment to also repeal the 2001 AUMF — which came in response to 9/11— was rejected by a 20-1. The full Senate may consider the measure before members leave for an April recess. As the bill has 12 Senate GOP sponsors, it is expected to pass the Senate. In previous years, the House has adopted similar legislation.
Aid to Ukraine
Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine less than one year ago, Congress has approved more than $113 billion of aid and military assistance to support the Ukrainian government and allied nations. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 omnibus appropriations package included an additional $47.3 billion of emergency funding to provide humanitarian, military, and economic assistance to Ukraine on top of the $65.8 billion of funding already approved in three other emergency funding packages enacted by Congress. Of the $113 billion approved in 2022, about three-fifths ($67 billion) has been allocated toward defense needs and the remaining two-fifths ($46 billion) to nondefense concerns such as general Ukrainian government aid, economic support, and aid for refugee resettlement. [Source: Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget]
Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Bill
On March 9, the Biden administration requested $886 billion in Fiscal Year 2024 budget authority for defense, including $842 billion for the Pentagon, a 3.2% increase over the enacted Fiscal Year 2023 level, plus $32.8 billion in atomic energy related defense spending. That number includes the request for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which builds nuclear weapons. As part of the request, the Pentagon asked for $15.3 billion to fund the U.S. military’s presence in the Pacific, part of the Biden administrations pivot to the China challenge. The Council’s sister organization, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, is preparing a detailed analysis.
Fiscal Year 2024 Defense Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2024 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction-Veterans’ Administration (VA) Appropriations Bills
Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Resolution
The Senate annual budget resolutions, which used to launch the budget process each year, may have gone the way of the dodo bird. The House may try to exhume the practice.
Congressional Recess Schedule
March 10–22 — House out of session
March 30–April 17 — House out of session (Passover, Easter)
March 31–April 17 — Senate out of session (Passover, Easter)
April 28–May 9 — House out of session
May 19–30 — Senate out of session (Memorial Day)
May 25–June 5 — House out of session (Memorial Day)
June 23–July 10 — Senate out of session (Independence Day)
June 23–July 11 — House out of session (Independence Day)
July 28–September 5 — Senate out of session (summer recess)
July 28–September 12 — House out of session (summer recess)
September 29–October 17 — House out of session (Columbus Day)
October 6–16 — Senate out of session (Columbus Day)
October 26–November 13 — House out of session
November 16–28 — House out of session (Thanksgiving)
November 17–27 — Senate out of session (Thanksgiving)