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April 23, 2018 Update

[New information bolded and italicized]

A vote on CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination as Secretary of State is scheduled for April 23. While a majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee may oppose his nomination, the full Senate is still expected to take a vote on his selection. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee may also take up in the near future a new Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), with the centerpiece a bill released last week (see below). At the end of this week: another congressional recess.

Key Fiscal Year 2019 National Security Bills


Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF)

The last three Presidents have relied on outdated AUMF’s from 2001 and 2002 to justify numerous overseas engagements. These measures have been a substitute for Congress’s Constitutional authority to declare war, which has not happened since 1941. There are been a number of abortive attempts to pass a new AUMF to put the Congressional imprint on the wars against ISIL and other terrorist groups. Senators Corker (R-TN), Kaine (D-VA), Young (R-IN) and Nelson (D-FL) introduced an updated AUMF last week. The bill has attracted quick opposition from the left, the White House, the Pentagon and Speaker Ryan. It’s fate is uncertain at best.

Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Bills  

In the House, Appropriations Subcommittee markups of Fiscal Year 2019 bills could begin as soon the week of April 23. Possible first markups: Military Construction-VA and Legislative Branch appropriations bills. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) has suggested that his committee is preparing to mark up its bills in May and hopes to have some of them on the floor in June.

Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Bill

The House Armed Services Committee schedule for marking up or writing its bill:
Thursday, April 26: all subcommittees meet to mark up
Wednesday, May 9: full committee markup
??: Bill on the House floor

The Senate Armed Services Committee schedule:
Week of May 7: subcommittee markup
May 9-10: full committee markup

Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget requests $617.1 billion for the Defense Department’s annual “base” discretionary budget, which is more than $90 billion higher than FY 18 enacted levels. This amount does not include certain other security spending, including funding for nuclear weapons-related work in the Department of Energy. Nor does it include an additional request of $69.0 billion for the Pentagon’s portion of the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account – also referred to as “war funding.” Including all of these accounts, the total national defense discretionary spending request is $714.9 billion.

Fiscal Year 2019 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

The Administration Fiscal Year 2019 budget authority request for atomic energy defense activities is $23.1 billion, an increase from the Fiscal Year 2017 enacted level of $21.4 billion.

Fiscal Year 2019 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The Fiscal Year 2019 Department of State and US Agency for International Development request is $38.7 billion, a huge decrease from the Fiscal Year 2017 enacted budget of $55.6 billion.

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Resolution

Neither the House or Senate is expected to produce a new one, particularly has the funding levels have been set in the Fiscal Year 2018 budget deal.

Key Fiscal Year 2018 National Security Bills

Fiscal Year 2018 Defense/Omnibus Appropriations Bill

On the evening of March 21, the House-Senate conferees finally finished and filed the massive 2,232 page Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill at a total cost of $1.3 trillion. Defense was one of the major sections of the bill. With the latest Continuing Resolution running out and a recess about to start, the House leadership rushed the bill to the House floor. On March 22, the House passed the bill by a 256-167. The Senate followed suit early in the morning of March 23 by a vote of 65-32.


Congressional recess schedule in 2018 

Friday, April 27–Monday, May 7: Congressional recess
Thursday/Friday, May 24/25 – Monday/Tuesday June 4/5: Congressional recess
Thursday/Friday, June 28/29 – Monday/Tuesday, July 9/10: Congressional recess
Thursday, July 26 – Tuesday, September 4: House recess
Friday, August 3 – Tuesday, September 4: Senate recess
Friday, September 14 – Tuesday, September 25: House recess
Friday, October 12 – Tuesday, November 13: House recess
Friday, October 26 – Tuesday November 13: Senate recess
Friday, November 16 – Monday/Tuesday, November 26/27: Congressional recess
Thursday/Friday, December 13/14 – end of year: Congressional recess