This week in Congress: Annual parade of vets advocates on Capitol Hill forced online this year

This week in Congress: Annual parade of vets advocates on Capitol Hill forced online this year


March is typically the time when scores of veterans advocates floor Capitol Hill hearing rooms in their annual advocacy meetings with members of Congress. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, all of that work is going virtual.

Starting on Wednesday, the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees will receive updates from veterans service organizations for the first time in a fully virtual setting. Gone are the packed hearing rooms full of members sporting attire with group logos and binders full of talking points. Instead, all of the groups will testify over the internet, safely socially distanced.

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Lawmakers will still have a full slate of testimony to comb through, however.

Fourteen different groups are set to outline their policy goals and priorities this week, including Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America and Student Veterans of America. Six more are scheduled to meet in a similar virtual setting on March 18.

Tuesday, March 2

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Global security challenges
Outside experts will testify on global security challenges and strategies to respond to them.

House Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — online hearing
Military service academies
The heads of the three service academies will testify on challenges facing their institutions.

House Foreign Affairs — 11 a.m. — online hearing
Africa
Outside experts will testify on election freedom in African countries.

Wednesday, March 3

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Venezuela
Outside experts will testify on security challenges presented by instability in Venezuela.

House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing.
Veterans groups
Officials from Disabled American Veterans, Student Veterans of America and other veterans advocacy groups will present their priorities to lawmakers during the joint hearing.

Thursday, March 4

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — 106 Dirksen
Nomination
The committee will consider the nomination of Colin Kahl to be Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Veterans groups
Officials from the American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America and other veterans advocacy groups will present their priorities to lawmakers during the joint hearing.

Friday, March 5

House Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — online hearing
VA infrastructure
VA officials will testify on the status of VA facilities and plans for future construction and consolidation.





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.