What to Know in Washington: House Panel Advances Defense Bill

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A House panel early this morning approved the annual defense authorization bill after hours of debate over GOP social priorities, including efforts to eliminate critical race theory and curb diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Democrats decried the provisions as divisive and a monopoly of time better spent on national security issues, but in the end, the House Armed Services Committee approved the measure on a 58-1 vote, with just one Democrat — Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif.) — voting against it.

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C in March 2023.

“I hate also that we get bogged down on some social issues,” Chair Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said during the markup. “But they are a small percentage of the issues that this committee deals with.”

Overall, the measure (H.R. 2670) that the full House will likely take up early next month would authorize $886 billion for national security programs, in keeping with the debt limit deal struck by President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). It authorizes about $874.2 billion for national defense programs, with the rest of the money for other defense-related activities.

The Senate Armed Services panel is also considering the annual defense policy bill. The two sides will have to conference to reach a compromise bill. The defense authorization bill is considered must-pass legislation because it authorizes troop pay increases and military construction projects, as well as sets weapons and geo-strategic policies. Roxana Tiron has the full story.


  • The House meets at 10:30 a.m. to vote on blocking sheltering migrants in schools.
  • Senators convene at 10 a.m. to hold votes on pistol regulation and a Chile tax treaty.


  • At 10 a.m., Biden greets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an official arrival ceremony at the White House.
  • Biden and Modi hold a bilateral meeting at 10:45 a.m., and deliver remarks and take questions from the press at 12:45 p.m.
  • At 8:45 p.m., the president, first lady, vice president, second gentleman, and Modi attend a State Dinner.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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