Soldiers assigned to 624th Quartermaster Company walk alongside military vehicles as part of a convoy training at Fort Dix, N.J., on June 14. (Pfc. Logan Sapp/Army)
The Senate will take up the annual defense authorization bill this week while the House tries to finish its work on a defense appropriations measure after parliamentary delays last week.
If the House can pass the defense budget bill — part of a larger, nearly $1 trillion spending measure including several other federal agencies — it will clear the way for the chamber to take up their version of the defense authorization measure just after the July 4 recess.
Getting each chamber to pass its individual drafts of the budget bills soon is key for congressional leaders hoping to start negotiations on them as soon as possible. House Democrats are backing plans that call for $733 billion in military spending for fiscal 2020, while Senate Republicans (and President Donald Trump) are pushing $750 billion in defense spending.
The two sides will have to reach a compromise on that impasse — and a host of other spending issues — by Oct. 1 to avoid triggering another partial government shutdown.
Tuesday, June 18
Senate Commerce — 2:30 p.m. — 253 Russell Unmanned Aircraft Security
Outside experts will testify before the committee on drone security issues.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen Russia and Ukraine
State Department officials will testify on Russia’s ongoing involvement in Ukraine.
Wednesday, June 19
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitor’s Center H210 School closures
VA and outside experts will testify on the effects of mid-semester school closures.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10:15 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider the nomination of Kelly Craft to be U.S. representative to the United Nations.
Senate Appropriations Committee — 10:30 a.m. — 106 Dirksen Emergency Supplemental
The committee will mark-up the 2019 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 VA Emergency Response
VA officials will testify on the department’s Emergency Response and Cache Program.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn U.S.-Iran Policy
Brian Hook, U.S. special representative for Iran, will testify before the committee on current U.S. response to Iran.
Senate Veterans' Affairs — 2:30 p.m. — 418 Russell Veteran suicide prevention
VA and outside experts will testify on current suicide prevention efforts.
Thursday, June 20
Senate Foreign Relations — 9:45 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Nominations
The committee will consider several nominations, including the new U.S. ambassador to Colombia and the new ambassador to Romania.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Military Sexual Trauma
VA officials will testify on disability benefits for veterans survivors of military sexual trauma.
House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon U.S.-Mexico Border deployment
Robert Salesses, deputy assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense integration, will testify the U.S. military deployment to the southern border.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 Pending legislation
The committee will consider several pending bills.
House Foreign Affairs — 3 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn State Department Budget
State Department officials will testify on the fiscal 2020 budget request.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.