House out of Session, Senate Budget Outlook is Bleak
By: Matt Vallone
The House of Representatives is out of session this week while the Senate is trying to wrap up consideration of legislation responding to rising rates of opioid abuse. In addition, the Senate will attempt to make headway on energy legislation that has been stalled by disputes over aid to Flint, Michigan. Of more interest to defense budget followers, it appears that the Senate Budget Committee has pushed back consideration of a budget by at least a month. Given that Congress is out of session for most of the summer and only in session for four weeks in September, the timeline for appropriations consideration will make it very difficult for the Senate to move forward with a budget. It seems increasingly likely that the Senate may ‘deem’ the Bipartisan Budget Act levels as the budget for the appropriations process, and move forward from there. The House Budget Committee has indicated that it will take up a budget resolution next week, but rumblings from conservatives highlight that there are considerable obstacles to getting a budget through that chamber as well.
On the committee front, SASC continues to steam ahead with posture and budget review hearings. Up this week are the combatant commands, which will be before the Senate on Tuesday and Thursday.
Congressional Defense Activity
SASC – 3/8 United States Central command, United States Africa Command and United States Special Operations Command, Full Committee Hearing, 930am
3/8 Air Force Modernization, Subcommittee on Airland, 230pm
3/8 Military Personnel Posture, Subcommittee on Personnel, 230pm
3/9 Nominations – General Joseph Votel & Lt. General Raymond Thomas, 10am
3/9 Closed Hearing: Military Space Threats and Programs, 230pm
3/9 Department of Defense Security Cooperation and Assistance Programs and Authorities, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, 230pm
3/10 United States Strategic Command, United States Northern Command, and United States Southern Command Programs and Budget, Full Committee Hearing, 10am
HASC – The House is out of session this week
HAC-D – The House is out of session this week
SAC-D – 3/9 Hearing to review the FY 2017 budget request and funding justification for the Defense Health Program, 1030am
Government Activity Round-up
The DoD comptroller page for budget materials is here, but if you want to see a more comprehensive budget tool, go to analytics.avacent.com and check out our Compass budget module.
GAO looks at whether the estimates to update the NNSA are accurate and finds that they may not cover all potential costs: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-290
Other DC/Defense Activity