Defense appropriations and authorizations bills will take center stage in the House of Representatives when Congress returns recess next week.
Before leaving for the spring recess, the House Appropriations Committee marked the beginning of the FY2015 appropriations season by approving the FY2015 Military Construction/VA Appropriations bill and the FY2015 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill. At that time, HAC chairman Rep. Harold Rogers said he would move aggressively to complete action on all 12 FY2015 appropriations bill in his committee by July 4.
With two bills ready for floor action, the full House could begin consideration of the FY2015 Military Construction/VA bill as early as next week, pending allocation of floor time by the House Republican leadership. If the House completed action on the MilCon/VA bill in the next few weeks it would underscore the House leadership commitment to an accelerated schedule this year. Last year, in part because the president did not submit the budget request to congress until early April, the House did not pass its first appropriations bill (the FY2014 Military Construction/VA appropriations bill) until June 4.
The House is also poised to begin action on the FY2015 Defense Authorization bill next week. In announcing the bill’s markup schedule, House Armed Services Committee (HASC) chairman Rep Buck McKeon said “this will be the fifty-third year in which the Congress has come together in a bi-partisan way to pass this vital national security authorization.”
Four HASC Subcommittees will markup their portions of the bill on Wednesday, April 30: Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities; Subcommittee on Strategic Forces; Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces; and the Subcommittee on Military Personnel. On Thursday, May 1, the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and the Subcommittee on Readiness will mark up their parts of the bill. The full HASC is scheduled to take up the entire bill on Wednesday, May 7.