Generals and administration officials will take the hot seat in the coming week to testify on President Trump ‘s fiscal 2019 budget request.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson , whose hearings last month were canceled after his father died, is now scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Tillerson can expect a grilling on the proposed 26 percent cut to the State Department’s budget, with particular emphasis on the military’s support for fully funding the department.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are also getting closer to the deadline to pass a spending bill for the rest of fiscal 2018.
When Congress passed a two-year budget deal last month, they also passed a stopgap spending measure that expires March 23.
As the spending package for the rest of the fiscal year gets finalized, one thing to keep an eye out for is whether the Pentagon gets flexibility on when it can spend its dollars.
The budget deal gives the Pentagon a $700 billion windfall — everything it asked for. But officials have been expressing concern that they’ll have to rush to spend the money in the remaining six months of the fiscal year, leading to unwise decisions.
As such, they’ve asked for flexibility in how and when the Pentagon is allowed to spend its money.
In a Senate Budget Committee hearing this week, Pentagon comptroller David Norquist asked for the ability to roll over operations and maintenance funds into the next fiscal year and for flexibility in moving funds between accounts. He also asked for relief from the so-called 80:20 rule, which prohibits federal agencies from spending than 20 percent of their funding in the last two months of the fiscal year.
In a separate hearing, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) promised some flexibility in the bill, without being specific.
“We are addressing the whole issue of flexibility,” he said at a hearing with Navy leaders. “Oversight is important. Sometimes when you get a huge bucket of money people say, ‘This is the gold mine.’ But we — the committee still — I know under Ms. [Kay] Granger’s chairmanship [of the defense subcommittee], wants to make sure that all of those dollars are spent responsibly. So I think we worked out a path forward to provide that degree of flexibility you and the other services are looking for.”
The hearing and event schedule for the coming week is packed.
Army Secretary Mark Esper, Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will discuss the fiscal 2019 budget at the Center for Strategic and International Studies at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Washington. http://bit.ly/2FeYfeR
The Senate Armed Services Committee will hear from U.S. Central Command head Gen. Joseph Votel and Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Hart Senate Office Building, room 216. http://bit.ly/2Iie8QG
The heads of U.S. Army Cyber Command, Marine Forces Cyberspace Command, Air Forces Cyber and Navy Fleet Cyber Command will testify on the cyber posture of the services before a Senate Armed Services subpanel at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Russell Senate Office Building, room 222. http://bit.ly/2FoW7lH
Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, head of Air Force Materiel Command, will speak on current acquisition challenges and opportunities at an Air Force Association breakfast at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Arlington, Va. http://conta.cc/2If7WZB
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) will speak on present and future dangers ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reelection at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. http://bit.ly/2Fs58dG
Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith (D-Wash.), will speak on the future of base realignment and closure at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Cato Institute in Washington. http://bit.ly/2tvRQr3
The House Appropriations defense subcommittee will hear from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein on the fiscal 2019 Air Force budget at 10 a.m. Wednesday on the House side of the Capitol Building, room 140. http://bit.ly/2oXZVjE
A Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee will hold a hearing on Somalia’s current security and stability status at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Dirksen Senate Office Building, room 419. http://bit.ly/2IfaZ41
The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on space warfighting readiness policies, authorities and capabilities at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Rayburn House Office Building, room 2118. http://bit.ly/2Fv0Cau
The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hear from outside experts on modernizing export controls at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Rayburn 2172. http://bit.ly/2Hk3oji
A House Armed Services subcommittee will hear from Air Force officials on the service’s fiscal 2019 budget request for sea power and projection forces staff at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Rayburn 2212. http://bit.ly/2FBtGk1
A Senate Armed Services subpanel will hear from Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration officials on atomic energy defense activities at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Russell 232-A. http://bit.ly/2IceHeN
DARPA Director Steve Walker will speak at a House Armed Services subcommittee on the fiscal 2019 budget request for Department of Defense science and technology programs at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2Fx1mM7
Army Secretary Mark Esper and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley will appear before the House Appropriations defense subcommittee to discuss the fiscal 2019 Army budget request at 10 a.m. Thursday in the House side of the Capitol Building 140. http://bit.ly/2IeKtrx
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the fiscal 2019 State Department budget request and redesign plans at 10 a.m. Thursday in Dirksen 419. http://bit.ly/2De9vTV
Head of U.S. European Command Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will testify before the House Armed Services Committee on security challenges in Europe and competition with Russia at 10 a.m. Thursday in Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2oUoHBq
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will speak on countering authoritarianism and advancing U.S. interests in Latin America at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. http://bit.ly/2FvTKtB
Lt. Gen. Jerry Harris, Air Force deputy chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff force structure, resources and assessments, will speak at a House Armed Services subpanel on the fiscal 2019 budget request for Air Force airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs at 2 p.m. Thursday in Rayburn 2212. http://bit.ly/2IdE5AG
Another House Armed Services subcommittee will hear from Assistant Secretary of Defense Kenneth Rapuano and head of Air Force Space Command Gen. John Raymond on the fiscal 2019 budget request for national security space programs at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Rayburn 2118. http://bit.ly/2FmbPhD
Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper, director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, will speak on strengthening alliances and partnerships through defense cooperation at 10 a.m. Friday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. http://bit.ly/2If8K0z
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