Lawmakers return from their holiday break with a host of military issues on the docket and only a few weeks of summer work left to complete them.

The full House begins its debate on the annual defense authorization bill this week, with a host of hot-button issues like transgender troops and climate change expected to be among amendment fights.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, senators will begin the confirmation process for Gen. Mark Milley to take over as the next joint chiefs chairman. He isn’t expected to face major opposition from lawmakers, but could see uncomfortable questioning on issues like instability in the Middle East and the military mission along the southern U.S. border.

Officials are hoping to advance both of those issues — along with the confirmation of Defense Secretary candidate Mark Esper — before the start of August and the extended congressional break until September.

Tuesday, July 9

Senate Armed Services — 3 p.m. — 222 Russell
Central-South America
Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, will testify on threats and challenges in his area of operation.

Senate Commerce — 3 p.m. — 562 Dirksen
NASA Exploration Plans
Outside experts will testify on plans for future human spaceflight missions.

Wednesday, July 10

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
Women veterans
Outside experts will testify on economic challenges facing women veterans and possible policy solutions to help them.

Senate Foreign Relations — 10:15 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
Arms Export Control
State Department officials will testify on the use of emergency authorities under the Arms Export Control Act.

House Small Business — 11:30 a.m. — 2360 Rayburn
Veteran entrepreneurs
Outside experts will testify on military transition programs and support for veteran businesses.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210
Health care costs
Outside experts will testify on health care costs facing the VA system.

Thursday, July 11

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider the nomination of Gen. Mark Milley to be chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — Capitol H-140
USAID Management Challenges
State Department officials will testify on the United States Agency for International Development’s current management.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Cuba
Outside experts will testify on human rights abuses in Cuba.

House Appropriations — 2 p.m. — Capitol H-140
U.S. Southern Command
Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, will testify on threats and challenges in his area of operation.

House Foreign Affairs — 3 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
State Department Budget
State Department officials will testify on the fiscal 2020 budget request.