WASHINGTON — With the White House’s fiscal 2020 budget release set for Monday, lawmakers will have plenty of questions for defense and Veterans Affairs officials about their spending plans at hearings throughout the week.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning in the headline hearing of the week. The hearing could be contentious, with a host of questions about both the Pentagon budget plan and President Donald Trump’s intention to tap past military construction funds to build his controversial southern border wall.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who announced her resignation on Friday, will testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee a day earlier, one of several hearings this week focused on the Air Force budget request.
Lawmakers are hopeful to keep the annual defense authorization bill process on schedule despite the late budget release. Typically the budget proposal comes out in early February, but the extended partial government shutdown delayed the release by five weeks this year.
House Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 2358C Rayburn
State Department budget
Administration officials will discuss their request for the fiscal 2020 State Department budget and related foreign operations.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
The committee will consider several pending nominations, including the nominee to be ambassador to Ecuador and El Salvador.
House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
The committees will hear the legislative priorities of seven groups, including the Military Officers Association of America, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and the Fleet Reserve Association.
House Appropriations — 10:30 a.m. — 2362-B Rayburn
The committee will hear from VA benefits and cemeteries officials on their budget request for fiscal 2020.
House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Military personnel policies
Outside experts will testify before the committee on current military personnel policies and potential reforms.
Senate Armed Services — 2:30 p.m. — 232A Russell
Officials from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Defense Innovation Unit will testify before the committee on artificial intelligence research.
Wednesday, March 13
House Armed Services — 10 a.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, head of U.S. European Command, will testify before the committee on security challenges in his region.
House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — 2172 Rayburn
Outside experts, including former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy, will testify before the committee on the value of the NATO alliance.
Senate Appropriations — 10 a.m. — 192 Dirksen
Air Force Budget
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will testify before the committee on their fiscal 2020 budget request.
Senate Foreign Relations — 10:15 a.m. — 419 Dirksen
Outside experts will testify before the committee on U.S.-China competition on the world’s stage.
House Appropriations — 11 a.m. — HT-2 Capitol
VA Inspector General
The VA inspector general will testify before the committee on his office’s fiscal 2020 budget request and ongoing work.
House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Outside experts will testify on the potential impact of climate change on future military operations and national security threats.
House Armed Services — 2 p.m. — 2118 Rayburn
Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of U.S. Cyber Command, will testify before the committee on the fiscal 2020 budget request.
House Foreign Affairs — 4 p.m. — 2172 Rayburn
The committee will consider legislation prohibiting U.S. military activities in Venezuela without prior congressional approval.
Thursday, March 14
House Armed Services — 9 a.m. — 2212 Rayburn
Air Force budget
Service officials will testify before the committee on their seapower and projection forces budget requests for fiscal 2020.
Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. will testify before the committee on the president’s fiscal 2020 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.