By Matt Vallone, Director of Research & Analysis
Main Story: FY 2017 Winds Down with Little Clarity on FY 2018 Defense Funding
Both chambers of Congress are back in session this week as Fiscal Year 2017 comes to a close. Unlike past years when the threat of a government shutdown loomed, Congress has already enacted a continuing resolution that will fund the government through December 8, 2017. While this is not ideal for the aerospace and defense industry, it is better than a shutdown. Of more concern is the fact that there remains no clear sense of what the White House, Congressional Republicans, and Congressional Democrats can all agree on in order to fund the government in FY 2018. While discussions among appropriators are probably ongoing, it is likely that no real progress on a deal will be made until closer to the deadline.
House Activity – The House will consider mostly suspension bills with two rule bills for debate later in the week. These are focused on limiting payment of benefits to fugitive felons and the reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program with changes to the benchmarking process.
Senate Activity – The Senate may consider the Graham-Cassidy healthcare reform bill, though so far it is unclear whether there is sufficient support to pass the legislation. Otherwise the Senate will work through various nominations for the duration of the week.
- SASC – 9/26 ‘Nomination – General Joseph F. Dunford’, Full Committee Hearing, SH-216 Hart, 10am
- HASC – 9/27 ‘The Army’s Tactical Network Modernization Strategy’, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Hearing, 2212 Rayburn, 2pm
- HAC-D – No hearings this week
- SAC-D – No hearings this week
Government Activity Round-Up
Not directly related to aerospace and defense, but CBO has put forward an interesting report on corporate inversions. It’s a useful explainer for why these take place and what government policies impact those decisions. More here.
The GAO has out two reports that caught our eye. The first is a look at the Coast Guard’s icebreaker recapitalization plans (we here at the Political Report love icebreakers). This looks at the status of the current Polar-class and plans to extend its life and, eventually, replace it. The second report is not directly defense-related, but looks at the overall performance of telecommunication contracts and what various agencies could do to get better value from these contracts. Being aware and managing transitions is one of the key takeaways.
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