Both congressional chambers have a light hearing schedule this week, but there are plenty of defense issues on their respective chamber floors to keep lawmakers busy.

The full House membership will begin debate on the annual defense authorization bill on Tuesday, almost three weeks after its armed services committee marked up its draft and just a few days after the Senate Armed Services Committee unveiled its version.

Senators last week brought their fiscal 2017 Veterans Affairs and military construction budget to the floor, and could begin consideration of that appropriations measure in the days ahead. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee is expected to advance its fiscal 2017 defense bill to the full House on Tuesday.

The House Veterans' Affairs Committee continues its mark-ups of a host of bills while waiting for the Senate to finish up work on the massive VA reform omnibus moving through that chamber. No timetable has been set for when that bill might come to a full Senate vote.


House Armed Services -- 9 a.m. -- Rayburn 2212

Foreign military sales

The subcommittee on oversight will hear from Defense Security Cooperation Agency officials on policies and procedures for foreign military sales.

House Appropriations -- 10:30 a.m. -- Rayburn 2359

Defense budget

The full committee will mark up the fiscal 2017 defense budget and overseas contingency funding plans.

Senate Foreign Relations -- 11 a.m. -- Dirksen 419


Outside experts will testify before the committee on the civil war in Syria and next steps to mitigate the crisis.

House Veterans' Affairs -- 2 p.m. -- Cannon 334

Veterans in Tech

The subcommittee on economic opportunity will examine careers for veterans in the technology sector, and ways to promote veteran hiring.

House Foreign Affairs -- 2 p.m. -- Rayburn 2172

Counterterrorism budget

The subcommittee on terrorism will review the State Department's fiscal 2017 defense budget, focusing on counterterrorism programming.


House Veterans' Affairs -- 10:30 a.m. -- Cannon 334

Pending legislation

The full committee will consider a series of bills already approved by subcommittee members dealing with veterans programming and VA reform.

Senate Appropriations -- 10:30 a.m. -- Dirksen 124

VA health records

The subcommittee on veterans affairs will discuss ongoing issues with the interoperability of Department of Defense electronic health records with VA systems.

House Foreign Affairs -- 2:30 p.m. -- Rayburn 2172


The subcommittee on global human rights will discuss support strategies for African democracy efforts.

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