House Republicans will try again this week to advance their funding outline for the Defense Department in fiscal 2024, just a few days after far-right lawmakers derailed leadership’s plans to move ahead on the budget measure.
The chamber was set to vote on the $826 billion plan last week, but Republican leaders shelved the legislation after members of the GOP’s right-of-right Freedom Caucus indicated they would not support the bill without promises of additional cuts to non-defense spending. That left the appropriations measure without enough backing to pass, since Democrats have already raised objections to the Republicans’ proposed limits on abortion access for troops and other social issues in the measure.
House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chair Ken Calvert, R-Calf., told Defense News that GOP leaders are working to address their conservative colleagues’ complaints and remain hopeful a deal can be reached in the next few days.
But the standoff further exacerbates tensions surrounding all of Congress’ undone budget work. The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Without a full series of new appropriations bills for all federal agencies or a short-term budget extension by then, government funding will lapse, forcing a partial government shutdown.
That could prompt furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers and delay paychecks for troops mandated to stay on duty. Both House and Senate leaders have said they hope to see progress on a short-term budget deal in the next few days.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2200 Rayburn
Africa Human Rights
Outside experts will testify on human rights abuses in African nations.
House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:15 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Medical Care Standards
VA officials will testify on standards of care for veteran patients at department and non-department medical centers.
House Armed Services — 10:35 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Defense Department officials will testify on current U.S. policy towards Taiwan.
Wednesday, Sept. 20
House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Industry experts will testify on Defense Department innovation efforts and potential improvements to them.
House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — 360 Cannon
Veterans Education Benefits
VA officials will testify on current trends and challenges with veterans education benefits.
House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Outside experts will testify on challenges and merits of the current military promotion system.
House Veterans’ Affairs — 3 p.m. — 360 Cannon
Department officials will testify on procurement and budgeting issues.
Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3:30 p.m. — 418 Russell
Veterans Suicide Prevention
Department officials will testify on current VA suicide prevention efforts.
Thursday, Sept. 21
Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G50 Dirksen
The committee will consider the nominations of Derek Chollet to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Cara Abercrombie to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition.