WASHINGTON — The House Armed Services Committee will open its 2019 hearings schedule with a closer look at the ongoing deployment of active-duty troops to the southern U.S. border, and the concerns many lawmakers have with the operation.
Last fall, President Donald Trump ordered several thousand servicemembers to southern states to assist with border security patrols and fortification operations. The move drew immediate criticism from congressional Democrats, who labeled it a politicization of both the immigration debate and the military force.
Earlier this month, Pentagon officials announced the White House had extended the border mission through September, despite critics concerns. The hearing will look into the impact of that decision, and whether the Democrat-led House should intervene in some way.
This week also marks the first full week of hearings for the 116th Congress, with many House and Senate committees officially adopting their rules and regulations for the new session. Some of that work has been delayed by the ongoing government shutdown and related policy debates.
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.