Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: Dunford faces the Senate

WASHINGTON — Senators are expected to grill the nation’s top military officer on a series of topics during his reappointment hearing on Tuesday, even though there is little doubt they’ll approve his return to the post in coming weeks.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. has received largely positive reviews from lawmakers, and there is no indication he’ll face significant roadblocks in receiving another two-year term for the post. President Donald Trump renominated Dunford for the role back in May.

But Dunford is likely to face a range of questions including recent North Korean aggression, the Iranian nuclear deal, the U.S. military build-up in Afghanistan, and the ongoing fight against Islamic State group fighters in the Middle East, all topics which Trump has made moves on in recent weeks.

Whether any of Dunford’s responses makes national headlines remains to be seen. The Senate is expected to consider another major health care reform measure this week, a topic that has dominated much of the chamber’s work in recent months.

Tuesday, Sept. 26

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Hart 216
The committee will consider the reappointment of Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
Pending legislation
The subcommittee on health will consider several pending bills, including a draft measure on educational assistance for health professionals.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2172
State Department redesign
State Department Deputy Secretary John Sullivan testifies before the committee on proposed reforms at his agency.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10:30 a.m. — Dirksen 419
Security assistance
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy Thomas Harvey III and other officials will testify on managing security assistance to support foreign policy.

Wednesday, Sept. 27

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2172
The subcommittee on the Middle East will hear from State Department officials on their fiscal 2018 budget request for Afghanistan and Pakistan programs.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2200
The subcommittee on Africa will hear from outside experts on security and stability challenges in Rwanda.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2212
Army tactical network
Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford and other service officials will testify before the committee on tactical network modernization plans.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — Cannon 334
GI Bill apprenticeships
The subcommittee on economic opportunity will hear from VA officials on apprenticeship programs through department education benefits and ways to improve them.

House Foreign Affairs — 2:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2172
The subcommittee on Asia will hear from outside experts on Burma’s actions against Rohingya villages.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 2:30 p.m. — Russell 418
Suicide prevention
VA Secretary David Shulkin and outside suicide prevention efforts will testify before the committee on department mental health efforts.

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