Congress enters May with hopes of finalizing committee work on the annual defense authorization bills before June 1 and getting full chamber votes on the respective packages in early summer.

Bloomberg News reported this week that House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., has set the last week of May as the target for committee mark-up of the authorization bill, which has passed into law for more than 60 years and contains hundreds of defense spending and programming provisions. In a typical year, it’s the only bill advanced by the committee that becomes law.

The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to follow a similar schedule, although no details have yet been announced. Senators on the panel have several budget posture hearings set for this week, but have already begun crafting authorization bill priorities behind the scenes.

Even if the two chambers pass their separate drafts in early summer, final adoption of a compromise measure is likely to drag on until late fall. That’s because the bill is tied to congressional appropriations work, which still does not have a clear timeline for completion in either the House or Senate.

House members are on break this week, but the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee does have a field hearing scheduled for Thursday evening in San Diego to discuss efforts to prevent veteran homelessness in the region.

Tuesday, May 2

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Air Force Posture
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman will testify on the fiscal 2024 budget request.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 192 Dirksen
Army Budget
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth and Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville will testify on the fiscal 2024 budget request.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 232-A Russell
Joint Force Readiness
Service officials will testify on readiness issues and joint force initiatives.

Senate Foreign Relations — 3 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
Pacific Challenges
State Department officials will testify on current security and economic challenges in East Asia and the Pacific region.

Senate Armed Services — 4:45 p.m. — 222 Russell
DOD Space Activities
John Plumb, assistant Secretary of Defense for space policy, and other senior officials will testify on current military space operations.

Wednesday, May 3

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — Capitol S-116
The committee will consider 11 pending nominations and 13 pending bills.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
Global Information Wars
Amanda Bennett, CEO of the U.S Agency for Global Media, will testify on information warfare and U.S. strategy.

Thursday, May 4

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
World Wide Threats
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier will testify on national security threats.

House Veterans' Affairs — 7:30 p.m. — San Diego
Veteran Homelessness
Committee members will hold a field hearing on homelessness prevention efforts in San Diego.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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