Quick Hit – January 18, 2016

HASC Chairman Thornberry speaking at National Press Club last week
HASC Chairman Thornberry speaking at National Press Club last week

Congress:

  • Congress has returned for the second session of the 114th Congress;
  • Floor actions on the near horizon include: North Korea sanctions enforcement; Iran Terror Finance Transparency and proposed changes to Senate filibuster rules

The Budget:

  • FY17 budget will be delivered one week later than usual on February 9th (technically budget is due to Congress on first Monday of February)
  • Anticipate agency posture hearings to begin the week of February 8th
  • Despite the Balanced Budget Agreement (BBA), it looks like the defense spending figure will again open the dialog on a new budget agreement
  • Most recent BBA (reached in Nov 2015) called for FY17 baseline defense budget of $573B with and additional $59B for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)
  • HASC Chairman Thornberry and SASC Chairman McCain have both publicly expressed concerns that significant terror attacks have continued since the time of that agreement.  Rumors abound that the FY17 budget about to be delivered cuts defense top line by $15B.
  • The appropriations process (hearings, request deadlines, mark-ups, etc.) for FY17 is expected to move very quickly due to the election year
  • Clients should be meeting with Congressional staff about their FY17 concerns in February and March at the latest
President Obama addresses the nation in his final State of the Union Address
President Obama delivering his final State of the Union Address on January 12

The President:

  • State of the Union occurred earlier than usual this year
  • President Obama focused more on past achievements for his final State of the Union, rather than policy initiatives for the coming year

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