NGAUS Eyes Busy Budget Effort

Washington Report

(June 27, 2017) The NGAUS legislative staff is closely monitoring the markups of the fiscal 2018 defense authorization and appropriations legislation this week.

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense approved a $658.1 billion defense bill that includes $584.2 billion in discretionary, base-budget accounts for most Pentagon programs besides military construction. The bill would also include $73.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

The House and the Senate armed services committees are marking up their versions of the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. The House committee’s NDAA would authorize a total of $696.5 billion, including funding for defense programs that appear in other appropriations bills. Also, the House NDAA exceeds President Donald Trump’s budget request by $28.5 billion.

The Senate Armed Services Committee mark differs slightly from the House by authorizing $700 billion.

The president’s budget request, both proposed NDAA marks and the House defense appropriations bill all exceed the current caps on defense spending of $549 billion. Congressional action is required to lift or alter the current caps.

Matt Pincus, the NGAUS senior legislative programs manager, remains optimistic about Congress reaching a budget deal, but warns that “enacting either House defense bill could be a difficult task for a Republican caucus already divided among fiscal hawks and defense hawks.” A buy-in by Democrats may be needed for them to pass, he said.