Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: In-person hearings return as coronavirus ebbs

Congressional committees continue their slow return to normal operations on Capitol Hill this week, with a significant increase in hearings scheduled for the start of June.

Both the House Armed Services and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees this week will hold their first in-person hearings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the closing of most congressional office buildings and operations to the public.

Both of those hearings will be open only to a select few individuals, and are expected to have several committee members asking questions from remote locations. Witnesses and staffers will be required to maintain safe distancing within the hearing rooms.

But the face-to-face events are a sharp contrast to the online-only forums that many committees have held in recent weeks, in an effort to minimize interactions among lawmakers, staffers and witnesses.

Tuesday, June 2

Senate Homeland Security — 2:30 p.m. — online event
Nominations
The committee will consider the nominations of Russell Vought to be director of the Office of Management and Budget and Craig Leen to be Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management.

Wednesday, June 3

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online event
VA Disaster Preparedness
Committee members will discuss how prepared department facilities are for natural disasters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Budget Committee — 2:30 p.m. — 301 Russell
Nominations
The committee will consider the nominations of Russell Vought to be director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Senate Veterans' Affairs — 3 p.m. — 106 Dirksen
VA budget and coronavirus
Department officials will testify on the department’s fiscal 2021 budget request and their pandemic response efforts so far.

Thursday, June 4

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — online event
Nominations
The committee will consider five nominations, including J. Steven Dowd to be U.S. director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Navy Future Force Structure
Adm. Gary Roughead, former Chief of Naval Operations, and Bryan Clark, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, will testify on future force structure requirements for the Navy.

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