The US media has reported that U.S. Senate work on the annual defense authorization bill 2021-2022 will be delayed until mid-summer because of the ongoing wait for President Joe Biden’s federal budget plan. The subject delay could muddle the host of personnel policies and procurement of US military. US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said that due to uncertainty about the timings of the President’s Budget submission, the officials had made a difficult decision to postpone the full committee mark-up of the massive authorization bill until July.
As per routine, the mark-up usually takes place in May and after the grand sum up, US Military leadership including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Service Chiefs will testify on their defense budget demands for fiscal 2021-22 in June. The US legislatures must finalize the annual budget before the start of US annual fiscal year on Oct 1. Both committees, US Senate Armed Services Committee and US Congress Armed Services Committee had raised concerns over the White House’s sluggish release of its budget plan, which is endangering Congress’ ability to finish its budget work before the start of the new fiscal year.
According to reports, Biden administration has started its innings in a slow mode due to uncooperativeness in transition phase by the Trump administration which resulted in delay in nomination of defense officials in Pentagon and three services. Biden administration is also busy in ambitious agenda in pandemic relief, investment, voting rights and competition with China. This delay had created a huge backlog for the US Congress and Senate in their oversight on government’s works. The Lawmakers had warned the White House to expedite its annual defense budget plan at earliest which was planned to submit to the Senate Armed Services Committee by the February 2021. If the situation curtails in the similar way, there are chances of government shutdown due to non-approval of annual defense authorization bill by the US legislature. However, if the Biden administration succeed in making the Defense budget plans in time, either then its performance will hinder due to its failure in appointing 23 new nominee in US Department of Defense under Secretary Llyod Austin who have to run the whole department.