Capitol Hill Update: House to Take Up FY 2020 NDAA; Senate to Hold Hearing on Gen. Milley for Joint Chiefs Chair

House lawmakers will likely take up their $733 billion version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act this week while the Senate will begin confirmation proceedings for Army Gen. Mark Milley to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In the Democrat-led House, the fiscal 2020 NDAA is likely to face sharp opposition from leading Republican lawmakers who dismiss the bill’s lower $733 billion defense spending topline as insufficient in favor of the Senate’s approved $750 billion NDAA topline.

In June Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, led opposition against the panel’s bill by voting not to advance it out of committee, specifically citing the $17 billion lower topline.

House lawmakers have filed hundreds of amendments to the bill, CQ reported Monday. The Rules Committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. to start deciding which amendments will be debated on the floor.

Strong committee deliberations were expected on an amendment offered Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to further reduce $17 billion from the bill’s topline, and amendments addressing DOD’s readiness for the impacts of climate change.

Other high interest amendments include transgender troops’ service in the armed forces and use of DOD funds for the administration’s southern border barrier.

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