Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: Overseas conflict zones get new attention amid the impeachment trial

As impeachment proceedings continue in the Senate, lawmakers from both chambers will shift some of their attention to overseas hot spots and the potential for military operations there.

House and Senate committees will hold hearings on Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and Iraq in coming days, with an eye towards possible budget requests for those overseas missions. The White House is scheduled to release its budget plan for fiscal 2021 next month.

Similarly, the heads of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Southern Command will testify on Thursday on current threats in their regions of responsibility. They’re the first of a series of high-level military commanders to visit Capitol Hill throughout the next few months in advance of budget work.

While hearings on the House side of Congress will be held as usual, Senate hearings have been shifted to earlier start times each morning so that senators can wrap up their work before the daily impeachment trial session begins each day at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Senate Armed Services — 9 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Afghanistan
Retired Gen. John Nicholson Jr., former commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, and other outside experts will testify on the security situation there.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
North Korea
Under Secretary of Defense for Policy John Rood will testify on the security situation on the Korean Peninsula.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Iran
Outside experts will testify on the security situation in the Middle East, including U.S. tensions with Iran.

House Oversight — 10 a.m. — 2154 Rayburn
Afghanistan
Outside experts will testify on the security situation in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, Jan. 29

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors’ Center H210
Veterans suicide
VA and outside experts will testify on department efforts at suicide prevention.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Middle East
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was invited (but has not committed) to testify on the administration’s security policies towards Iran and Iraq.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Anti-Semitism in Europe
Outside experts will testify on the rising threat of anti-semitism in Europe.

Thursday, Jan. 30

Senate Armed Services — 9 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Africa Command and Southern Command
Gen. Stephen Townsend, head of U.S. Africa Command, and Adm. Craig Faller, head of U.S. Southern Command, will testify on current threats in their regions of responsibility.

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