House Armed Services Committee worked all day on Wednesday and into Thursday mornings small hours on their markup of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill passed, but without broad bipartisan support. The parties differed on a few proposals, including development of new nuclear weapons, and how to pursue a ‘Space Force.’ Seamus Daniels, program manager & research associate for defense budget analysis at CSIS, says that because of the inevitable budget cap discussion, there won’t be a finished budget for quite some time.
“Two weeks ago, we had Senator McConnell say there could be a budget by the end of the day. We did not see that happen. I’m projecting that we’ll start 2020 on a continuing resolution. But there will have to be a debate over the budget caps,” Daniels said. “Everyone is worried about sequestration. Sequestration only occurs if there are appropriations passed for 2020 without raising the caps and if they exceed the caps. But It doesn’t take effect until January. That’s an area that we will be looking out for, but I would assume that we’ll split the difference between $733 and 750 billion.”