The President Introduces the FY2017 Budget
By: Matt Vallone
This is another busy week for political news. On Tuesday, the White House will reveal the final budget request of the Obama presidency. While the topline numbers for FY2017 have been known since the signing of the Bipartisan Budget Act this fall, getting a full look at the details, and forecasts, will provide considerable insight into what the rest of the year might look like. Here at Avascent, we’ll be working through those numbers all week to set up our budget webinar taking place on Friday at 11am (sign up here).
At the same time that paper copies of the budget are being delivered to every Congressional office, polls will open for New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary. Primaries are always hard to poll and New Hampshire has seen its fair share of late upset, but the current state of play at FiveThirtyEight gives Donald Trump a 71% chance of winning on the Republican side and, in a real nail-biter, Bernie Sanders a 99% chance of winning on the Democratic side. When not poring over budget data, we’ll be anxiously watching returns on Tuesday night.
In addition, both chambers of Congress are in session this week with the Senate trying to find a way forward on an energy bill held up by disputes over providing aid to Flint, Michigan’s devastated water system. The House will be considering a hodge-podge of legislation this week, with the most controversial being a requirement that the administration explain its plan to reduce the deficit prior to the country reaching the debt limit. Given that the power of the purse is nominally Congress’, it’s safe to assume this won’t be received well at the White House. Lastly, the Congressional side of this year’s budget process is now underway, and it appears there may be a fight over defense funding coming this spring.
Congressional Defense Activity
2/9 Worldwide Threats, Full Committee Hearing
2/9 Department of Defense Nuclear Acquisition Programs and the Nuclear Doctrine, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
2/11 National Commission on the Future of the United States Army, Full Committee Hearing
2/10 Understanding and Deterring Russia: U.S Policies and Strategies, Full Committee Hearing
2/10 Recommendations from the National Commission on the Future of the United States Army, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
2/10 Department of Defense (DoD) Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Policy and Programs for Fiscal Year 2017, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities
2/11 Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request for Atomic Energy Defense Activities, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
2/11 Carrier Air Wing and the Future of Naval Aviation, Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
2/12 Department of the Air Force 207 Budget Request and Readiness, Subcommittee on Readiness
2/12 Assessing the Development of Afghanistan National Security Forces, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Government Activity Round-up
The DoD comptroller page for budget materials is here. We’re looking forward to seeing FY 2017 show up and be filled in later this week.
Other DC/Defense Activity
North Korea launched a satellite into orbit over the weekend, sparking global condemnation and talk of increased sanctions. In addition, the United States and South Korea have moved into formal talks on setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea, something that would anger China. Informal talks have existed for some time, but formal discussions will now move forward.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will be in Brussels this week as part of a NATO meeting on combating the Islamic State.