From a Pentagon office, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville addresses participants in an online event hosted by the Center for New American Security on April 27. McConville is one of several senior Defense Department leaders to testify in virtual congressional hearings this week. (Chad J. McNeeley/DOD)
Military commanders will take center stage in a series of House hearings this week, but only in cyberspace.
With the Senate on legislative break, House lawmakers have scheduled a robust series of online hearings, including public testimony from leaders of all five services. Leaders of the National Guard and service reserves will also testify on their budget needs for fiscal 2022 and beyond.
Senate work on the annual defense authorization bill will be delayed until midsummer because of the ongoing wait for President Joe Biden’s federal budget outline, a delay that could complicate a host of military personnel policy and procurement plans.
The flurry of work comes just days after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed, D-R.I., announced that his panel will postone markup of the annual defense authorization bill by two months to late July, because of significant delays in the White House’s federal budget submission to Congress.
Hearings with senior defense leaders are expected to take place throughout May and June. Lawmakers are still hopeful the defense budget and authorization bill can be finalized before the end of the calendar year, but doubtful it will happen before the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.
Monday, May 3
House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — online hearing Amphibious Assault Vehicle mishap investigation
Marine Corps officials and family members of troops killed in the July 2020 AAV accident will testify on the aftermath of the tragedy.
Tuesday, May 4
House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — online hearing Weapons of mass destruction
Defense officials will testify on this fiscal 2022 budget request in regards to countering the threat of weapons of mass destruction.
House Appropriations — 12 p.m. — online hearing National Guard and Reserves
The heads of the National Guard and service reserves will testify on the president’s fiscal 2022 budget request.
House Foreign Affairs — 1 p.m. — online hearing Burma
Outside experts will testify on the security situation in Burma.
House Veterans' Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing Pending legislation
The committee will mark up several pending bills.
Wednesday, May 5
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing Pending legislation
The committee will mark up several pending bills related to the issue of toxic exposure illnesses and benefits.
House Armed Services — 11 a.m. — online hearing Members’ day
Committee officials will hear from other lawmakers on their priorities for the fiscal 2022 defense budget.
House Appropriations — 12 p.m. — online hearing Army budget
Gen. James McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army, and acting Army Secretary John Whitley will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.
House Appropriations — 2:30 p.m. — online hearing Military/VA-Related agencies
Officials from the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the American Battle Monuments Commission, Arlington National Cemetery and the Armed Force Retirement Home will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.
House Armed Services — 3 p.m. — online hearing Space strategy
Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, head of Space Operations Command, will testify before a joint session of multiple House subcommittees on rules-based order for space.
Thursday, May 6
House Veterans' Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing VA workforce diversity
VA officials will testify on efforts to improve diversity in the department’s work force.
House Armed Services —- 3 p.m. — online hearing Ship/Submarine maintenance
Officials from Naval Sea Systems Command will testify on maintenance challenges and the fiscal 2022 budget request.
Friday, May 7
House Appropriations — 12 p.m. — online hearing Air Force/Space Force budget
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown, Space Force Chief of Operations Gen. John Raymond, and acting Air Force Secretary John Roth will testify on the fiscal 2022 budget request.
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.