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The House and Senate are in session this week.
The House returns tomorrow. Legislative business begins at 2:00 pm. Votes are postponed until 6:30 pm. There are 12 bills coming to the floor under the suspension of the rules between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The only rule bill this week is the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2020, H.R. 2500. With an overall authorization of roughly $733 billion for FY 2020, the House version comes in at around $17 billion less than the Senate version. H.R. 2500 is broken down $664.1 billion in base spending and $69 billion in overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding. A summary of H.R. 2500 is available here. More than 650 amendments have been filed. Separate bipartisan amendments have been filed that prohibit the use of military force against Iran and Venezuela. The House Rules Committee will meet at 5:00 tomorrow to consider the rule governing debate of H.R. 2500 and which amendments will be made in order for consideration on the floor.
After several days of NDAA and disapproval resolutions for arms sales, the Senate is going back to processing nominees. The Senate returns today at 3:00 pm to consider the nomination of Daniel Bress to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A vote on the cloture motion is expected around 5:30 pm. Six other nominees will be considered this week. This doesn’t include any nominees or legislation that may be voice voted out of the chamber. The rest of the nominees are below.
If a deal on the discretionary spending caps isn’t reached before September 30 and no continuing resolution (CR) is passed, discretionary spending would be cut by about $126 billion to $1.118 trillion for FY 2020 because of sequestration under the Budget Control Act, excluding discretionary spending such OCO and emergency relief that doesn’t count toward the caps. That’s a best-case scenario in this Congress. The White House has proposed a one-year CR that would maintain the current $1.244 trillion discretionary spending level through FY 2020. Again, excluding discretionary spending that doesn’t count toward the caps. That’s not good enough for some senators. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissed the White House’s proposal right before the recess. Now, a group of 15 Republicans, led by Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), are pushing back on the proposed CR via a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Russ Vought. The argument is that CRs hurt the military. Ironically, Sen. Perdue is the lead sponsor of S.Res. 78, which states that the national debt is a threat to national security.