By Matt Vallone, Director of Research & Analysis
With House in Recess, Senate Looks to Make Progress on Nominations and the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
After an impossibly busy week that featured a major setback for Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, a Twitter announcement of a new White House Chief of Staff, and a colorful introduction to the new, now former White House Communications Director, not to mention passage of a minibus of appropriations in the House, this should be a much quieter week. The House has gone on recess for the remainder of the summer, while the Senate will spend the week on various nominations and may move to the NDAA. However, with Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain home in Arizona undergoing treatment for brain cancer, the NDAA may be put on hold, leaving an FDA reauthorization as the only non-nomination related activity before the Senate recesses on August 11th. Given all that, it would not be surprising to see a relatively light schedule followed by a shortened session next week. Even when the Senate gets ready to head for the hills, look for Democrats to force Senators to hold pro-forma sessions throughout August in order to prevent President Trump from making recess appointments.
House Activity – The House is on recess until September.
Senate Activity – The Senate will move to consider the nomination of Kevin Newsom to be a circuit court judge early in the week, followed by other nominations and non-controversial legislative activity.
SASC, HASC, HAC-D, SAC-D – No scheduled hearings
Washington Activity Round-Up
Not much going on in either CBO or GAO this week. Nothing new from last week at CBO, while GAO only has two new defense-related analyses. First, GAO looked at security risks in DoD posed by the Internet of Things (IoT). While DoD has released guidelines for a number of potential security risks, GAO finds that “these policies and guidance do not clearly address some security risks relating to IoT devices.” The assessment of DoD’s guidance and the suggested solutions are worth reading. The second GAO report is a review of DoD’s program for providing excess equipment to law enforcement. As part of testing the system, GAO created a fake agency to test out how its verification works and, it turns out, it does not. The fake agency was able to purchase over $1.2 million in equipment.
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