Week ahead: Defense spending ties up budget talks

Week ahead: Defense spending ties up budget talks
© Greg Nash

The inclement weather caused the Senate's first week back from the holidays to sputter out, but both chambers of Congress are slated to be back in town in the coming week.

Lawmakers will jump back into a familiar task: funding the government before a shutdown deadline.

The stopgap spending measure lawmakers passed last month funds the government through Jan. 19, giving Congress eight legislative days to avert a government shutdown.

Also looming are across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which will go into place in mid-January if Congress does not reach a deal to raise budget caps.


This past week, congressional leaders met with White House officials to try to work out a budget deal, but made little progress.

Much like previous budget negotiations, one of the main hang-ups appears to be defense vs. nondefense spending. Democrats are again insisting that any increase in defense spending be matched with an equal increase in nondefense spending.

"So I hear the majority leader say that he's not for parity. Parity's not a word. It's veterans. It's people who are needing opioid relief. It's working-class folks," Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Democratic mega-donor reaching out to Pelosi, Schumer in bid to stop Sanders: report Trump administration freezes funding for study of hurricane barriers: report MORE (D-N.Y.) said this week.

Immigration and protections for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children also continue to be a sticking point.

Just before the New Year, Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisFed chief issues stark warning to Congress on deficits Why US democracy support matters Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts four Chinese military officers over Equifax hack | Amazon seeks Trump deposition in 'war cloud' lawsuit | Inside Trump's budget | Republican proposes FTC overhaul MORE said the continuing resolutions (CR) have not hurt military readiness, but that any budgetary uncertainty beyond January could.

"So far, the CR probably has not extended the problem, thanks to the additional monies we got last year," Mattis told reporters Dec. 29. "Those monies have been spent, and so productions are still going, but we've got to get a budget by January, or there would be an impact."

Think tanks and congressional committees also wake up from their holiday lull next week with a slew of events and hearings.

Brookings will hold a discussion on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, "American and Japanese views of threats and options compared," at 10 a.m. Monday in Washington, D.C. http://brook.gs/2CZ5TGV

The Surface Navy Association will hold their annual national symposium featuring top Navy officials, including Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, from Tuesday through Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va. http://bit.ly/2CJ1kmg

A Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee will discuss oversight and response to the attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. http://bit.ly/2m2jyFc

The House Homeland Security Committee will hear from border security agents on a wide range of security issues at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the House Visitor Center, room 210. http://bit.ly/2qw96Lq

Former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will speak on "What to Worry About in 2018" at the Council of Foreign Relations at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in Washington, D.C. http://on.cfr.org/2CGOhlw

A House Armed Services subcommittee will hear from outside experts on China's pursuit of emerging and exponential technologies at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday in Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. http://bit.ly/2CG6nnB

Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist will testify before the full House Armed Services Committee on the Defense Department's efforts with the Financial Improvement and Audit Remediation Plan at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2CXcPUX

The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on home loan churning practices and how veterans are being affected at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Cannon House Office Building, room 334. http://bit.ly/2Ec8SLA

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear from an outside expert on sanctions and financial pressure as national security tools at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2CBbVQh

House Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraLawmakers frustrated with lack of emergency funds for coronavirus Overnight Health Care — Presented by Philip Morris International — Trump officials to allow Medicaid block grants | WHO declares emergency over coronavirus | CDC reports first coronavirus case that spread in US WHO declares public health emergency over coronavirus MORE (D-Calif.) will speak at the Stimson Center on past and future South Asian crises at 9 a.m. Thursday at the center's headquarters in Washington, D.C. http://bit.ly/2lYuiUT

The full Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear from a State Department official on U.S. policy in Syria post-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria at 10 a.m. Thursday in Dirksen 419. http://bit.ly/2E9FeGL

Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisGov. DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Sanders, Dems zero in on Super Tuesday Florida lawmakers pass bill requiring parental consent for abortions, governor expected to sign MORE (R-Fla.) will discusses "President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE's 'Ultimate Deal': Is Israeli-Palestinian Peace Possible?" at noon Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. http://bit.ly/2Cxj1Sn

The think tank New America will hold a discussion on the military prison at Guantánamo Bay under Trump at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at 740 15th St. NW. http://bit.ly/2lXKR3c


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