Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: What is happening with military housing?

Problems with military housing will again be at the forefront of defense congressional conversations this week, even as the rest of Capitol Hill remains focused on the ongoing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

That work will resume on Wednesday. But the day before and after, lawmakers on the armed services committees will renew discussion about how tenant complaints and housing problems are handled following the scandals earlier this year surrounding shortfalls in how privatized military housing is overseen.

Lawmakers have pushed to put new military family protections in the annual defense authorization act, but that legislation has stalled in recent weeks amid partisan infighting. Leaders of both the Senate and House Armed Services committees are hopeful they have have a negotiation breakthrough this week.

Opposite the Wednesday impeachment hearing, the Senate Armed Services committee will hold a comprehensive hearing on the issue of veteran and military suicide. That issue has gained additional attention in recent months after Department of Veterans Affairs estimates showed little improvement in prevention efforts over the last few years.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G50 Dirksen
Military privatized housing
Service officials will testify on improvements to private military housing and processes for tenant complaints.

Senate Foreign Relations — 9:45 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
State Department officials will testify on U.S. policy towards Russia.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 106 Dirksen Bldg.
Ship/Submarine Maintenance
Navy officials will testify on ship maintenance strategies.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
New START Treaty
Former Joint Chiefs Chairman retired Adm. Michael Mullen and other outside officials will testify on the importance of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 222 Russell
Suicide Prevention
DOD, VA and outside health experts will testify on suicide prevention programs for troops and veterans.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2:30 p.m. — 419 Dirksen
Lebanon/Iraq Protests
State Department officials will testify on instability in the region and potential impact on U.S. national security.

Thursday, Dec. 5

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
National Defense Strategy
John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, and other defense officials will discuss implementation of the national defense strategy.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210
VA Financial Management
Department officials will testify on fiscal oversight issues related to the department.

House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Military Health System
Department health officials will testify on changes to the military health system.

House Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Military privatized housing
Outside contractors will testify on issues with private military housing and processes for tenant complaints.
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