May 16, 2022 Update
[New information bolded and italicized]
What’s more powerful than a bipartisan Senate agreement led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and supported by well over 90 Senators: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The two leaders agreed to quick passage of a $39.8 billion Ukraine aid package, up from a Biden administration request of $33 billion, with Democrats paving the way by abandoning their plan of attaching pandemic aid.
But Senator Paul threw a monkey wrench into the process by demanding that language be added to establish a special inspector general to track how the aid money is spent, leading to many procedural hurdles. The final vote should be held early this week.
On May 10, the House easily passed the Ukraine legislation by a vote of 368-57.
On May 11, the House passed by voice vote a two-year extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, coverage for people exposed to harmful radiation from U.S. nuclear weapons testing and uranium mining. Since 1945, the United States conducted more than 200 above-ground nuclear tests, leading to lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and other serious diseases caused by radiation exposure in states like Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and across the West. Proponents of the measure still hope to secure a long-term extension and expansion of benefits and eligibility.
The House Armed Services Committee announced its markup schedule for the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Bill:
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
- 10 a.m. ET – Subcommittee on Cyber, Innovative Technologies, and Information Systems Markup
- 12 p.m. ET – Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Markup
- 2 p.m. ET – Seapower and Projection Forces Markup
- 3 p.m. ET – Subcommittee on Military Personnel Markup
Thursday, June 9, 2022
- 10 a.m. ET – Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Markup
- 12 p.m. ET – Subcommittee on Readiness Markup
- 2 p.m. ET – Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations Markup
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
10 a.m. ET – Full Committee Markup
The Senate Armed Services Subcommittees will mark up or write their sections of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization bill the week of June 6, with full committee markup the week of June 13.
In addition, the House Appropriations Committee has a tentative schedule to mark up all 12 bills in subcommittees from June 13 – June 22, with the full committee to consider the bills from June 22 – June 30.
House floor consideration of appropriations bills, and Senate Appropriations Committee action, are, to say the least, much less clear. As a reminder, the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations process was not concluded until mid-March this year with passage of a massive bill that clocked in at 2,700 pages.
Before the most recent recess, the administration sent classified versions of the following documents submitted to Congress: still pending, the unclassified versions of the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, the National Defense Strategy and the National Security Strategy.
Key Fiscal Year 2023 National Security Bills
On May 4, a bipartisan majority of senators voted 62-33 for a measure introduced by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) stating that any nuclear agreement with Tehran should also address Iran’s support for terrorism in the region, and that the U.S. should not lift sanctions on an elite branch of the Iranian military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Lankford measure was a motion to instruct conferees on the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021. While the negotiations with Iran on a new nuclear deal are ongoing — former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 — and the vote was non-binding, the vote was a symbolic rejection of the Biden administration’s efforts to reinstate the agreement. Sixteen Democrats voted for the Lankford amendment: Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Cardin (D-MD), Coons (D-DE), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Kelly (D-AZ), King (I-ME), Manchin (D-WV), Peters (D-MI), Rosen (D-NV), Schumer (D-NY), Sinema (D-AZ), Tester (D-MT) and Wyden (D-OR).
Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Bill
Fiscal Year 2023 Defense Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Resolution
The annual budget resolutions, which used to launch the budget process each year, may have gone the way of the dodo bird.
Fiscal Year 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2023 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
Fiscal Year 2023 Military Construction-Veterans’ Administration (VA) Appropriations Bills
Partial Congressional Recess Schedule
April 29 – May 10 – House recess
May 19 – June 7 – House recess
May 27 – June 6 – Senate recess
June 24 – July 12 – House recess
June 24 – July 11 – Senate recess
July 29 – September 13 – House summer recess
August 5 – September 6 – Senate summer recess
September 30 – November 14 – House recess
September 30 – October 11 – Senate recess
October 21 – November 9 – Senate recess