This week in Congress: White House warns against more budget delays

Marine One lifts off from the White House to carry President Donald Trump to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Friday, Oct. 2, 2020 in Washington.

The White House on Friday warned Congress not to finish the year without passing a new federal budget plan, saying the funding is needed to protect national security and military readiness.

“A full-year [budget extension] would not only underfund the Department of Defense but also misalign billions of dollars in DOD resources in a manner inconsistent with evolving threats and the national security landscape,” Office of Management and Budget officials wrote in a statement.

“For instance, a full-year continuing resolution would prevent new program starts critical to modernization, adversely impact hypersonic weapons development, and delay over 114 new military construction projects this fiscal year.”

Lawmakers approved a temporary budget extension through Dec. 3 earlier this year, maintaining fiscal 2021 spending levels for the first few months of fiscal 2022 (which began on Oct. 1). Some members of Congress have begun discussing a full year budget extension, pushing off new program starts in favor of ensuring a partial government shutdown doesn’t occur.

But White House officials are opposed to the idea, and are pushing lawmakers to finish their budget work before the end of 2021. Congress has only about three weeks of legislative work left to do that and complete work on the annual defense authorization bill, as well as other policy priorities.

Tuesday, Nov. 16

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn

Arctic security

Retired Adm. Paul Zukunft, former commandant of the Coast Guard, and other outside experts will testify on the impact of climate change on Arctic security issues.

House Transportation — 10 a.m. — 2167 Rayburn

Coast Guard infrastructure

Service officials will testify on mission needs and infrastructure improvements.

House Oversight — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn

Cyber threats

Administration officials will testify on cyber threats and disrupting criminal hacking networks.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

Latin America

Brian Nichols, assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will testify on administration policy in Latin America.

Wednesday, Nov. 17

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Counterterrorism budget

Chris Landberg, acting principal deputy director of the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, will testify on program needs in the fiscal 2022 budget.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitor’s Center H210

Military sexual trauma

VA officials will testify on support programs and department policies regarding military seuxal trauma.

House Oversight — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn

Military-veteran suicides

Outside experts will testify on administration efforts to prevent military and veterans suicide.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen

Afghanistan

Outside experts will testify on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and events leading up to that departure.

Senate Commerce — 10 a.m. — 253 Russell

Coast Guard promotions

The committee will consider a series of Coast guard promotions along with other business.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3 p.m. — 418 Russell

Pending legislation

The committee will consider several pending bills.

Thursday, Nov. 18

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn

International organizations

Erica Barks-Ruggles, senior official for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, will testify on U.S. leadership in international groups.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

VA’s medical supplies

VA officials will testify on the department’s medical supply chain.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.



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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.