This week in Congress: Budget battles and Afghanistan oversight

This week in Congress: Budget battles and Afghanistan oversight

The annual defense authorization bill will be the focus of House legislative work this week, while Senate lawmakers will continue their investigation into problems surrounding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

On Monday, the House Rules Committee will meet to wade through the 800-plus amendments to the massive defense budget policy bill, as well as set debate rules for the $740 billion measure.

The legislation is expected to pass, but not before lengthy debate over spending levels for the military in fiscal 2022 and other contentious military topics.

No date has been set for when the full Senate will consider its draft of the authorization bill, which the Senate Armed Services Committee advanced in July.

On Tuesday, that committee will hold another closed hearing on Afghanistan, this time focused on the fate of evacuees and refugees from the country.

Tuesday, Sept. 21

Senate Homeland Security — 9:30 a.m. — 342 Dirksen

Terrorist threats

Department of Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas and FBI Director Christopher Wray will testify on terrorist threats in America and abroad.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 9:30 a.m. — online hearing

Pending legislation

The subcommittee on economic opportunity will consider several pending bills.

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — closed hearing

Afghan nationals

Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl and other defense officials will testify before a closed session on support for recently evacuated Afghan nationals.

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn

Nicaragua

Outside experts will testify on security concerns in Nicaragua.

House Science — 11 a.m. — online hearing

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials will testify on low Earth orbit satellites and related security issues.

Wednesday, Sept. 22

House Foreign Affairs — 9 a.m. — online hearing

East Asia

Outside experts will testify on security concerns in East Asia.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing

Suicide prevention

VA officials and outside experts will testify on department suicide prevention efforts.

House Veterans’ Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing

Pending legislation

The subcommittee on oversight will consider several pending bills.

Thursday, Sept. 23

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen

Nominations

The committee will consider the nomination for Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to be the head of U.S. Transportation Command.

House Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — online hearing

Cyber security

Officials will testify on the national cybersecurity strategy and ways to protect federal systems.

House Foreign Affairs — 1 p.m. — online hearing

Taiwan

Outside experts will discuss security tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

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.



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