A U.S. special operations forces member conducts combat operations in support of Operation Resolute Support in Southeast Afghanistan in March 2019. The ongoing U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will be a focus of Capitol Hill hearings this week. (Spc. Jonathan Bryson/Army)
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.
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.