Week ahead: House tees up $578B defense spending bill for 2017

Week ahead: House tees up $578B defense spending bill for 2017
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The House is getting around to tackling defense spending for fiscal 2017, five months after the fiscal year began.

The Pentagon, like the rest of the government, is operating at fiscal 2016 funding levels currently since Congress passed a stopgap spending measure at the end of last year.

The stopgap measure, called a continuing resolution (CR), doesn't expire until the end of April. But congressional leadership is hoping to pass the defense spending bill for fiscal 2017 earlier so that the Pentagon has budget certainty and Congress can turn its attention to next fiscal year.

The bill, introduced Thursday, would provide $577.9 billion for the Pentagon. That breaks down to $516.1 billion in base budget funding and $61.8 billion for the war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.

Not included in the bill is the expected supplemental budget request from the administration, which Congress is still waiting to get.

Coupled with the funding from the CR, the bill would mean the Pentagon gets $583.7 billion for fiscal 2017.


The funding level is consistent with the fiscal 2017 defense policy bill signed into law by former President Obama in December and agreed to by both the House and the Senate.

The House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up the rule for the bill at 5 p.m. Tuesday, meaning the bill will come to the House floor midweek.

Also Tuesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hear from newly minted National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in a closed-door session. McMaster, an active duty lieutenant general, needs the Senate to reconfirm his three-star rank.

The ambassadors from Ukraine, Poland, Georgia and Latvia will testify before a Senate Appropriations Committee subpanel on Russian policies and intentions toward their countries at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 192. http://bit.ly/2m4i4eG

The House Armed Services Committee will hear about nuclear deterrents from the commander of U.S Strategic Command, the vice chief of naval operations, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the vice chief of staff of the Air Force at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. http://bit.ly/2mOsSMp

A House Armed Services subcommittee will have a hearing on Army readiness at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Rayburn 2212. http://bit.ly/2mV19c7

At 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, another House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on an independent fleet assessment of the Navy at Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2m4eOjk

A Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel will have a hearing on nuclear weapons at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Russell Senate Office Building, room 222. http://bit.ly/2kxi8nW

The commanders of U.S. Central Command and Africa Command will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Hart Senate Office Building, room 216. http://bit.ly/2m4c3yu

The House Appropriations defense subcommittee will host "Member's Day" at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in room H-140 in the Capitol. http://bit.ly/2mV3Avo

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will have hearing on Russian disinformation at 10 a.m. Thursday at Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2lI1rmt

Members of the Defense Science Board will testify on nuclear deterrence before a House Armed Services subcommittee at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2mjL7vd

A House Armed Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on the effects of sequestration and continuing resolutions on the Marine Corps at 9 a.m. Friday at Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2m4gpWA


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