WASHINGTON — After the Senate votes on advancing the annual defense authorization bill on Monday, the Senate Armed Services Committee will turn its attention to Afghanistan a day later with the nomination hearing for the new military commander there.

Lt. Gen. Austin Miller will testify before the committee Tuesday in hopes of taking over command of the 17-year war. Miller has spent the past two years leading Joint Special Operations Command, and is expected to face an easy confirmation vote.

But the confirmation hearing may be more contentious. Miller is expected to face questions from Democrats and Republicans skeptical of President Donald Trump’s strategy for the region, including how long the U.S. military presence in the country will continue.

Meanwhile, the committee’s House counterpart has four oversight hearings scheduled for this week, including the second in seven days dealing with aviation problems in the armed forces.

Tuesday, June 19

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — Dirksen G-50
Committee members will consider the nomination of Lt. Gen. Austin Miller to serve as the new commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Dirksen 124
Homeland security appropriations
The subcommittee on homeland security will mark-up its draft of that department’s fiscal 2019 appropriations legislation.

Senate Appropriations — 3 p.m. — Dirksen 138
State Department appropriations
The subcommittee on foreign relations will mark-up its draft of the State Department’s fiscal 2019 appropriations legislation.

Wednesday, June 20

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2172
State Department officials will testify before the committee on recent changes in U.S. policy towards Afghanistan.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10:15 a.m. — Dirksen 419
USAID resources
Mark Green, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, will testify before the committee on planned reforms at his agency.

House Oversight — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2154
Outside experts will testify before the committee on U.S. relations with Cuba and actions against U.S. federal workers stationed there.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2172
North Korea summit
Outside experts will testify before the committee on the recent U.S. summit with North Korea and oversight responsibilities for Congress.

House Foreign Affairs — 2:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2200
Sri Lanka
The subcommittee on global human rights will hear from outside experts on rights’ issues in Sri Lanka.

House Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2118
Military health system
Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency, and other military health officials will testify on pain management and opioid use in the military.

Thursday, June 21

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — Rayburn 2118
Military technology transfer
Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research, and other Defense Department officials will testify before the committee on technology transfer challenges.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10:30 a.m. — Cannon 334
VA hiring authorities
Department officials will testify on current VA hiring authorities and challenges with recruiting and retention efforts.

Senate Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — Dirksen 106
Appropriations mark-up
The full committee will consider final mark-up of the fiscal 2019 homeland security and State Department proposals.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2172
Nuclear arsenals
Outside experts will testify before the committee on the Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals.

House Armed Services — 3:30 p.m. — Rayburn 2212
Aviation mishaps
Aviation officials from all four service officials will testify about recent problems with aircraft mishaps and possible solutions for the future.

Friday, June 22

House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — Rayburn 2118
The subcommittee on strategic forces will hear from defense officials on space situational awareness and proposed reforms to military space programs.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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