Pentagon & Congress

This week in Congress: First fights over Biden’s budget plan

Just a few days after the White House revealed its budget plans for fiscal 2022, a host of Defense Department and Veterans Affairs officials will visit Capitol Hill to justify their spending needs.

Adm. Craig Faller, head of Southern Command, and Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of Northern Command, will testify before several committees this week on needs facing their missions, including a joint appearance before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

Similarly, Gen. Tod Wolters, head of European Command, will appear before several committees this week to answer budget questions. Other defense officials are expected to testify in coming weeks.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough is expected to make his thoughts on the budget during an appearance before the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday morning. President Biden has called for an increase of more than 8 percent in discretionary spending for VA next year, pushing the total department budget over $250 billion.

Tuesday, April 13

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
European/Transportation Commands
Officials from U.S. European Command and Transportation Command will testify on budget needs for fiscal 2022.

Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 192 Dirksen
Defense innovation and research
Defense Department officials will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request in regards to research initiatives.

Wednesday, April 14

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Pending legislation
The subcommittee on economic opportunity will consider several pending bills, including several related to GI Bill rules and employment programs.

Senate Homeland Security — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Federal pandemic response
Outside experts, including former Department of Homeland Security Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich, will testify on the federal response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
North/South America
Adm. Craig Faller, head of Southern Command, and Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of Northern Command, will testify before the committee on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
Electronic health records
VA officials will testify on progress with the electronic health record modernization plan.

Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 222 Russell
Cybersecurity
Defense Department officials will testify on cybersecurity initiatives and global threats.

Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 3 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider the nomination of Richard Sauber to be general counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thursday, April 15

House Select Intelligence — 9 a.m. — 1324 Longworth
Global threats
The committee will hear from outside experts on global threats facing the United States.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Southern Command
Adm. Craig Faller, head of Southern Command, will testify before the committee on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — online hearing
VA budget
VA Secretary Denis McDonough will testify before the committee on the fiscal 2022 budget request.

House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Pending legislation
The subcommittee on health will consider several pending bills, including the “PAWS for Veterans Therapy” act.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Syria
Outside experts will testify on the ongoing civil war in Syria.

House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
U.S. forces in Europe
Gen. Tod Wolters, head of European Command, will testify on U.S. force posture in that region.

House Armed Services — 4 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
DOD inspectors general
Defense officials will testify on the roles and responsibilities of the Defense Department’s inspectors general.

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