After a two-week break, Congress is back and has a week full of budget hearings to help prepare them for appropriations and authorization bills drafts that are expected in the coming weeks. In March, President Biden released his 2023 federal budget with a proposed pay raise of 4.6% for troops. The largest pay raise in decades, but still lower than the current inflation rate. But the budget doesn’t only include positive things for the military. The plan also would shrink active-duty military strength by thousands of personnel. These issues and more will be discussed in the upcoming hearings this week.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made his appearances on Capitol Hill before Congress’s break admitting that the DoD used an inaccurately low inflation rate (4%) when formulating the fiscal 2023 budget proposal.

“Clearly when we snapped the chalk line when we built the budget; inflation was at a different point,” said Austin.

The low inflation rate makes the meetings this week even more critical in coming up with a path forward. “We’re going to need to work with the committees, I believe, going forward and look at what actually happening on the ground,” said Pentagon comptroller Mike McCord, “We normally revisit our situation internally, which generates reprogrammings that we send to you. We’ll do that as soon as possible this year as well.”

Many leaders on Capitol Hill are concerned that the proposed budget is decreasing instead of increasing in a time of rapid inflation and as other countries continue to provide a consistent threat.

Rep Elaine Luria, D- VA, told Defense News, “We need 3 to 5% real growth over inflation, obviously, that is not reflected in the budget.” She is also concerned with the lack of investment in the Navy, citing “the Pentagon’s request to decommission 24 ships and only build nine.”

It is expected that Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will all testify before congressional committees this week.

With 24 scheduled hearings scheduled for this week, there is a lot happening on Capitol Hill focused on the fiscal 2023 budget. There were four hearings on Tuesday, Senate Armed Services looked into Defense Industrial Base, Senate Homeland Security looked into Military Privatized Housing, Senate Foreign Relations looked at the State Department budget, and the House Veterans’ Affairs discussed VA electronic health records.

Today, Wednesday is a full day with 12 hearings. Topics range from the budget for the Air Force, DoD, DHS, and the Coast Guard; other topics include Navy and sea power projections, nuclear weapons, special operations, veteran benefit claims, and veteran support services.

Seven hearings are scheduled for Thursday. Once again, the topic of budgets is a hearing topic. This time the budget focus is on the State Department, Veteran Affairs, and Special Operations Forces. Other topics include F-35 sustainment and Air Force quality of life. And the House Armed Services will host a hearing called member day where members of Congress will offer their legislative suggestions for inclusion in the fiscal 2023 defense authorization bill.

And Friday one final hearing being held by the House Armed Services committee focuses on cybersecurity. You can find a full list of hearings here.


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Amanda is a military spouse and veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home with her two boys and follow her husband’s military career. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019 she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military. In 2020, she was published as a collaborative author in Brave Women Strong Faith. And in 2021, she launched a YouTube channel to help young women answer their questions about military life, Girl’s Guide to the Military. You can learn more about Amanda at her blog Airman to Mom.