Daily Leader
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business

Five “One Minutes”
9:45 – 10:15 a.m. 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
H.Res. 1027 – Rule providing for consideration of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5515 – John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Rep. Thornberry – Armed Services) (One hour of debate).  For the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5515, the Rules Committee has allowed debate on the conference report be divided pursuant to clause 8(d) of Rule XXII.  The Rule allows one motion to recommit and waives all points of order against the conference report and against its consideration. 

Provides that H.Res. 1020 – Rule waiving a requirement of clause 6(a) of rule XIII with respect to consideration of certain resolutions reported from the Committee on Rules, and providing for consideration of motions to suspend the Rules – is laid on the table.

Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5515 – John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Rep. Thornberry – Armed Services) (One hour of debate).  The Conference Report would authorize funding for the Department of Defense and other related agencies, programs, and operations for Fiscal Year 2019. It authorizes approximately $708.1 billion in FY 2019 ($616.9 billion for base DOD programs, $21.9 billion for the defense-related activities of the Department of Energy (DOE), $300 million for defense-related activities, and approximately $69 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO)).  

Many harmful environmental provisions that were included in the House bill have been removed or significantly weakened.  The Conference Report also does not include a provision from the House bill that would have made it easier for the defense industry to transfer machine guns between contractors or other entities.  And this report does not include any substantial provisions regarding Trump’s border wall.

The Conference Report fully funds the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI) at $6.3 billion, the largest amount to date.  It contains measures to strengthen U.S. deterrence capabilities against Russian aggression, including strategies to analyze Russia’s strategic objectives, the threat it poses, and a plan to counter Russian efforts to undermine democratic values both domestically and abroad. 

On Korea, the Conference Report places a funding prohibition on reducing the number of active duty U.S. service members deployed there below 22,000 unless the Secretary of Defense certifies that the reduction is in the national security interest of the United States and will not significantly undermine the security of U.S. allies in the region.  It also requires that the Secretary appropriately consult with allies of the U.S. including the Republic of Korea and Japan before the reduction can take place.  The report also contains a provision requiring baseline reporting on North Korea’s nuclear and chemical and biological weapons programs in order to determine if there is real progress toward denuclearization. 

On ZTE the Conference report includes a provision that imposes government-wide prohibitions on the procurement of telecommunications and video surveillance equipment and services from certain companies based in China that are connected with the government of China.

Although numerous problematic provisions were kept out of the Conference Report, the legislation includes, at the insistence of the Secretary of Defense, a comprehensive waiver of section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), albeit with numerous certification requirements. 
“The amount of corporate taxes collected by the federal government has plunged to historically low levels in the first six months of the year, pushing up the federal budget deficit much faster than economists had predicted. The reason is President Trump’s tax cuts… As companies operate with lower taxes and a greater ability to reduce what they owe, the federal government is receiving far less than it would have before the overhaul. The Trump administration had said that the tax cuts would pay for themselves by generating increased revenue from faster economic growth, but the White House has acknowledged in recent weeks that the deficit is growing faster than it had expected. The Office of Management and Budget said this month that it had revised its forecasts from earlier this year to account for nearly $1 trillion of additional debt over the next decade — on average, almost $100 billion more a year in deficits.”

    -     New York Times, 7/25/2018