In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., watch. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
The president — and not Congress — will take center stage on Capitol Hill this week, thanks to a pair of high-profile events that will push most committee work to the side.
A day later, the Senate is expected to finish its ongoing impeachment trial of Trump. Additional arguments are scheduled for Monday, making the first three days of the week difficult for any routine congressional work.
Instead, most defense and veterans hearings for this week will take place on Wednesday, and lawmakers hope to return to a more typical Capitol Hill schedule next week. That will be critical given the administration’s plan to release their fiscal 2021 budget proposal on Feb. 10, starting the months-long government funding process with the legislative branch.
Wednesday, Feb. 5
House Armed Services — 8 a.m. — 2212 Rayburn Innovation base
Outside officials will testify on ways to boost the defense innovation base.
Senate Veterans' Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — 418 Russell VA Community Care
Department officials will testify on implementation of the VA Mission Act and other changes to the community care network.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn Women's Global Health
Outside experts will testify on challenges facing women in impoverished areas in receiving health care.
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Military Sexual Trauma
Department officials will testify on support for military sexual trauma victims.
House Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — 310 Cannon Arctic
Officials will testify on homeland security priorities in the Arctic.
House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn Coronavirus
Officials will testify on global response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn Exceptional family member program
Outside advocates will testify on military family support programs, including the EFMP.
House Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn Pacific challenges
Navy and Marine Corps officials will testify on security challenges in the Pacific.
Thursday, Feb. 6
Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — G50 Dirksen Combatant commands
The heads of U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Cyber Command will testify on the fiscal 2021 budget request.
House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — Visitors Center H210 Markup
The subcommittee on economic opportunity will mark up several pending bills.
House Appropriations — 11 a.m. — Capitol H-140 Strategic Command
Adm. Charles Richard, head of U.S. Strategic Command, will brief the committee on fiscal 2021 budget needs in a closed session.
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.
“In the last 60 years, we’ve really focuses on isolated individuals,” but during large-scale maneuver warfare, units can become isolated just “by battlefield geometry," the Army's SERE school commander said.