The Capitol shown on Jan. 24, 2019. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Lawmakers are expected to pass a short-term budget extension this week amid a flurry of other work, including the ongoing impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump’s handling of foreign aid to Ukraine.
Under a deal passed earlier this fall, the federal budget is set to expire late Thursday. Without a new extension (or a full-year budget, which has been mired in political infighting for months), numerous agencies — including the Defense Department — would face a partial shutdown of operations.
House and Senate members are expected to approve a new budget to push back the deadline one more month, in hopes of reaching a full-year agreement before the Christmas break.
Similarly, defense lawmakers are hoping for a deal on the annual defense authorization act in that same time frame. A conference committee has been negotiating a final draft of that legislation for month, but so far has not found a final compromise.
Tuesday, Nov. 19
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Forever GI Bill
VA officials will testify on implementation of recent changes to veterans GI Bill benefits.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2200 Rayburn Africa
State Department officials will testify on U.S. foreign policy towards Africa and the fiscal 2020 budget request related to those efforts.
House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon Mexico
Outside advocates will testify on U.S. border and immigration policies related to Mexico.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn Open Skies Treaty
Outside advocates will testify on international rules governing aerial reconnaissance operations.
House Oversight — 2 p.m. — 2203 Rayburn DPAA
Officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency will testify on current operations.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn Lebanon
Outside advocates will testify on the security implications of protests in Lebanon.
House Oversight — 2 p.m. — 2154 Rayburn Toxic chemicals
Outside advocates will testify on the public health of toxic chemicals in public water systems, including PFAS contamination on and near military bases.
House Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn Military Health System Reform
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery and service health officials will testify on changes to the military health system.
Wednesday, Nov. 20
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen Russia
State Department officials will testify on U.S. policies towards Russia.
Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 222 Russell DOD Audit
Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist will testify on the ongoing Defense Department financial audit.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Suicide Prevention
Committee members will discuss potential legislation to award grants to community programs focused on veteran suicide prevention.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — Visitors Center H210 Electronic Health Records
VA officials will testify on progress with efforts to modernize the department’s electronic health records system.
House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn Climate Change
John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and other department officials will testify on the future effects of climate change on U.S. military operations and strategy.
Senate Armed Services — 3 p.m. — 222 Russell Biological Threats
Outside advocates will testify on biological threats to U.S. national security.
Thursday, Nov. 21
House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn Industrial Base
Service officials will testify on the challenges facing the department’s industrial base.
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.