This Week on Capitol Hill: Moving Ahead with the Defense Budget

This Week on Capitol Hill: Moving Ahead with the Defense Budget

The Senate moves forward with its fiscal 2020 defense authorization bill Tuesday with lawmakers set to take an evening vote to advance the bill for formal debate, CQ reported Monday.

A successful vote on the procedural cloture motion will allow the GOP-led chamber to begin considering amendments and debate the annual defense policy bill for full Senate approval.

In its current form the Senate’s NDAA topline matches the administration’s request for defense spending at $750 billion, though some differences include border barrier funding and the structure of the proposed space force.

In the Democrat-led House, lawmakers will try to pass the chamber’s lower $733 billion defense spending appropriation as part of a four-bill, nearly $1 trillion minibus package that includes spending for several federal agencies. Lawmakers will consider 57 amendments to the House bill.

If the minibus package passes, the House will hold debate on its defense authorization bill after the July 4 recess, according to CQ.

Each chamber will need to approve its appropriations legislation soon for congressional leaders to begin high-stakes conference negotiations.

The two sides will have to reach a compromise on fiscal 2020 defense spending and many other spending issues by Oct. 1 or face another partial government shutdown.

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