Pentagon & Congress

Defense hearings: Military budget season for Congress

Officials from all five of the armed services (don't forget the Coast Guard) will visit Capitol Hill this week to talk about their fiscal 2017 budget priorities, as the annual appropriations process slowly advances through Congress.

House and Senate committees this week have fourteen hearings scheduled on the defense budget alone, and leaders from the Veterans Affairs and State departments will visit Congress, as well, to talk about their funding concerns.

On Wednesday, House Armed Services Committee members will also meet with Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart to discuss global threats, and how lawmakers can better prepare the military for those challenges.

House members will go on district break for a week starting Friday, meaning a flurry of last-minute votes and hearings are possible this week.

Tuesday

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen G50

European Command

U.S. European Command head Gen. Philip Breedlove will testify before the committee on threats facing European allies and the fiscal 2017 defense budget request.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Capitol H140

Navy and Marine Corps budget

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller will testify on the fiscal 2017 defense budget request.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2212

NDAA priorities

House members will meet with committee officials to discuss their personal priorities for the annual defense authorization bill.

House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — Rayburn 2218

Air Force aviation programs

Service officials will brief members of the subcommittee on projection forces about future aviation priorities and the fiscal 2017 budget request.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — Dirksen 419

USAID budget

The subcommittee on the State Department will hear from U.S. Agency for International Development officials on their fiscal 2017 budget request.

House Financial Services — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2128

Terror financing

Committee members will hear from outside experts on ways to help developing countries fight terrorism with financial tools.

Senate Armed Services — 3 p.m. — Visitors Center S217

Closed briefing

The committee will hear from Air Force officials on the long-range strike bomber project in a closed session.

House Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2118

Special operations

U.S. Special Operations Command head Gen. Joseph Votel will testify before the committee on the fiscal 2017 defense budget request and worldwide threats.

Wednesday

House Appropriations — 9:30 a.m. — Rayburn 2359

VA budget

VA Secretary Bob McDonald will testify before the committee on the department's fiscal 2017 budget request.

House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — Dirksen G50

VFW

Officials from the Veterans of Foreign Wars will offer their annual legislative priorities to a joint session of the two committees.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2118

Worldwide threats

Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart and Defense Department officials will testify about global threats and U.S. national security priorities.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Capitol H140

Air Force budget

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh will testify before the subcommittee on defense about the fiscal 2017 defense budget request.

Senate Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — Dirksen 192

Navy and Marine Corps budget

The subcommittee on defense will hear from service officials about the fiscal 2017 budget request and future challenges facing both forces.

House Armed Services — 1 p.m. — Rayburn 2212

Ground force modernization

The subcommittee on land forces will hear from service officials on ground force modernization priorities and the fiscal 2017 budget request.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2118

Nuclear forces

The subcommittee on strategic forces will hear testimony from defense officials on nuclear readiness and the fiscal 2017 budget request.

Thursday

House Appropriations — 9:30 a.m. — Visitors Center H210

Installations and BRAC

Committee members will meet with installations officials from the four services to discuss the fiscal 2017 defense budget request and a possible base closing round.

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen G50

Air Force budget

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh will testify on the service's fiscal 2017 budget request.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Capitol H140

Army budget

Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley will meet with the subcommittee on defense to discuss the fiscal 2017 budget request.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2359

Coast Guard budget

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft will meet with the subcommittee on homeland security to discuss the fiscal 2017 budget request.

House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 345

Outside groups' priorities

Officials from AMVETS, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wounded Warrior Project, Vietnam Veterans of America and other advocacy groups will offer their annual legislative priorities to a joint session.

Senate Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — Dirksen 342

Dogs

Committee members will examine how law enforcement canine training programs contribute to homeland security.

House Armed Services — 10:30 a.m. — Rayburn 2118

Marine Corps budget

Assistant Marine Corps Commandant Gen. John Paxton Jr. and other service officials will testify before the subcommittee on readiness about the fiscal 2017 defense budget request.

Senate Appropriations — 11 a.m. — Dirksen 124

VA budget

The subcommittee on Veterans Affairs will hear from senior department officials on the fiscal 2017 budget request.

Friday

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — Concord, New Hampshire

Field hearing

Committee members will hold a hearing in Concord, New Hampshire, to discuss VA opioid prescriptions and pain management practices.

Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at lshane@militarytimes.com.

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