23 July 2015 Legislative News Update
weekly electronic newsletter, and is published
every Thursday when Congress is in session.
In some cases, it seems like time in Washington, DC is measured in “dog years”: If something should take one day to accomplish, instead multiply by seven. Congress is made up of members and staff who put in long hours and hard work to craft our laws, but despite their best efforts, in recent years they have found it very difficult to authorize and appropriate funding for our defense and our government by the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.
This year is no different. The House has passed their version of both the Defense Authorization bill and the Defense Appropriations bill. The Senate has only passed their Defense Authorization bill, and the conference between the House and Senate is now in progress. With luck and hard work, the authorization conference will conclude before the August recess, but it is unlikely that a conferenced Authorization bill will hit the House or Senate floor before September.
In the past few months, this Legislative Update has highlighted where AUSA stands regarding specific policy items in the bill, and progress is being made between the conferees to modify some of the more egregious issues. However, the process is ongoing, and specific details are closely held.
The Senate is currently planning to start their month–long Congressional Recess on August 7. Thus, the next two weeks will be important to our Army, because in addition to the authorization for the Army’s $126.5 billion budget request, the confirmation vote for the new Army Chief of Staff is pending in the Senate.
Let’s hope the conferees succeed in finishing their work before we hit the dog-days of August.