WASHINGTON — Lawmakers return to Capitol Hill this week for the final stretch of work this session, with an eye towards the Democratic takeover of the House next year.
Lawmakers will have to negotiate a spending deal in the next four weeks to ensure that a small number of federal agencies — including the Department of Homeland Security — don’t face shutdown. That debate will center around funding for President Donald Trump’s border wall proposal, and the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to southern states.
Both Democrats and Republicans will also sort out their leadership structure in coming weeks, ahead of the start of the 116th Congress in January.
Some assignments, such as Washington Democratic Rep. Adam Smith taking over the House Armed Services Committee, are foregone conclusions, but other lawmakers will have to jockey for key subcommittee and leadership posts.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Cannon 334
Electronic health records
Committee members will hear from VA staffers on progress with the conversion of the current electronic records system to a shared one with the Department of Defense.
Senate Homeland Security — 11:30 a.m. — Dirksen 342
The committee will consider several nominations, including Ronald Vitiello to be assistant secretary for immigration and customs enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — Rayburn 2172
State Department officials will testify before the committee on their counterterrorism budget and the challenges ahead.
Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — Dirksen 419
The committee will consider several nominations, including Patricia Mahoney to be ambassador to Benin and Richard Paschall III to be ambassador to Gambia.
Senate Armed Services — 3 p.m. — Russell 222
Outside experts will testify on the Defense Department’s cybersecurity acquisition practices.
House Armed Services — 3 p.m. — Rayburn 2118
Pentagon officials will testify alongside leaders from the Department of Homeland Security on coordinated efforts to defend the country from cyber attacks.
Thursday, Nov. 15
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Cannon 334
Contract disability examinations
VA officials will testify on costs related to disability examinations by outside contractors.
House Veterans' Affairs — 4 p.m. — Cannon 334
GI Bill payment delays
Committee members will receive an update on delays with GI Bill payments this school year and fixes for the future.