House planners eye FY23 budget, senators plan to spend billions more to help vets
Homeowners will unveil their initial plans for fiscal year 2023 spending this week as Senate lawmakers prepare to spend nearly $300 billion to better compensate veterans who suffered toxic exposures while in rows.
The Senate is expected to advance early this week its review of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, a package of medical care benefits and extensions that is estimated to cost $278 billion over the next decade. and will benefit one in every five veterans alive today.
The House will have to vote on the package again later this month before it can go to the president to make it law. But Democratic leaders in this chamber have already signaled support for the changes, indicating the legislation could be finalized before the July 4 recess.
Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee will begin holding its section-by-section markup of the fiscal year 2023 budget on Wednesday.
Work on the defense portion of the bill will take place behind closed doors, but the veterans budget – the White House has requested more than $300 million for the department next year – will be discussed in a public forum Wednesday afternoon.
Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee will also annotate their initial draft of the annual Defense Authorization Bill this week, but most of that work is also expected to take place out of public view. A final draft compromise should be published by the end of the week.
Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, DC since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned him numerous accolades, including a 2009 Polk Award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism Award, and the VFW News Media Award.