Executive and Legislative Branch Activity

Defense Authorization, Budget And the Sequester

The Fiscal 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) (S.1197) is expected to come to the Senate floor this week. Speculation is high the Senate debate will be truncated in order to conclude before the Thanksgiving congressional recess.

There is growing consensus the second round of the sequester will not be averted. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) presented the budget conferees with a report last week containing suggestions for cutting the federal debt. Some proposed CBO discretionary spending options included cancelling the following weapons programs: F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Ground Combat Vehicles, Ford-class aircraft carriers and Littoral Combat Ships.

Last week, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) was named as the new chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

Intelligence Programs

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology provided the White House with its interim report on government surveillance programs last week. The final report is due by December 15, which is when more details on the group’s recommendations are expected to be made public.

This Week’s Hearings:

  • Wednesday, November 20: The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing to review the “2013 Report to Congress of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.”
  • Wednesday, November 20: The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel will hold a hearing titled “Military Resale Programs Overview.”
  • Wednesday, November 20: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce will hold a hearing titled “Safeguarding Our Nation’s Secrets: Examining the National Security Workforce.”