House Armed Services Committee postpones defense authorization bill

By Tony Bertuca / May 9, 2023 at 8:00 PM

The House Armed Services Committee has postponed its consideration of the annual defense authorization bill, according to a statement from committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL), who did not provide further details.

“Providing for our nation’s defense is the most important responsibility that Congress has been tasked with under the U.S. Constitution,” he said. “I look forward to beginning the [bill] process in the near future to fulfill this critical responsibility and strengthen our national security.”

The committee was originally scheduled to consider the bill May 23, with subcommittees meeting May 11 and 12.

A spokeswoman for Rogers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though it is unclear why consideration of the bill is being postponed, Rogers’ announcement coincides with fiscal gridlock on Capitol Hill, where congressional Republicans are in a stand-off with Democrats and the White House over the federal debt limit.

Many Republicans, like Rogers, have said they want to raise the total national defense topline above the $886.4 billion President Biden has requested ($842 billion specifically for the Defense Department), but that negotiation is slated to play out amid partisan fights over cuts to discretionary spending sought by House GOP leadership.